Wonder Cabinet

Tina Chang

 
I opened the silver pronged evening and translated
the great song of the Industrial Age. Each night
I hoped it would tell a different ending. Each time
it sang a song, sadder than I would have imagined.

I heard it, not only when I put all my perspectives
away on shelves, until the shelves caved in.
What was left: a room with windows that looked out
and I interpreted the vast room that spoke of longing,

but mostly air. I consoled myself, heavy lidded,
I revealed myself to no one. I ached by the staircase.
I opened the cupboards and the refrigerator to let the cold in.
I walked with my bare feet dragging my lone body,

cold as milk as I kissed the bottomless depth, an ear
tuned toward the series of bells, wind tied to a tree.
And then the wind stopped. If I break
the many windows will the sea roil and foam?

I am consumed with houses and what may propagate
inside them. What longing lives there, breeds
redemption? An open door to the wide plain is not a metaphor.
I swing it open each day. I leave the old house.
 
Copyright © 2013 by Tina Chang. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on August 2, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Poems by This Author

Birth by Tina Chang
I was locked into a single seed, my future fathoming
Celestial by Tina Chang
When everything was accounted for
Duality by Tina Chang
Perhaps I hold people to impossible ideals
Evolution of Danger by Tina Chang
I'm the one in the back of the bar, drinking cachaça
Infinite and Plausible by Tina Chang
It is the smallest idea born in the interior will
The Future is an Animal by Tina Chang
In every kind of dream I am a black wolf


Further Reading

Poems About Home
9773 Comanche Ave.
by David Trinidad
Notebook of a Return to the Native Land [excerpt]
by Aimé Césaire
Birthplace
by Michael Cirelli
Daily
by Naomi Shihab Nye
Dusting
by Marilyn Nelson
Evangelize Your Love
by Jillian Weise
Fishing on the Susquehanna in July
by Billy Collins
He Foretells His Passing
by F. D. Reeve
Home is so Sad
by Philip Larkin
My House, I Say
by Robert Louis Stevenson
On the Disadvantages of Central Heating
by Amy Clampitt
Opus 80
by Arthur Davison Ficke
Otherwise
by Jane Kenyon
Proclamation
by Stuart Dischell
Psalm of Home Redux
by David Lee
Steppingstone
by Andrew Hudgins
Sysiphusina
by Shira Dentz
Te Deum
by Charles Reznikoff
The Bedroom
by Paula Bohince
The Cabbage
by Ruth Stone
The Lake Isle of Innisfree
by W. B. Yeats
This Is Just To Say
by William Carlos Williams
Untitled [I grew up in North Adams]
by Brenda Iijima