Ioanna Carlsen


Doll's House


The music comes on with the lights,
the little opera of emptiness begins, the little
dance of no one there —
just the rooms exhibited,
furniture in them like ideas,
a stage set waiting for action out of the blue.

But no,
even the fire in the hearth is neon, warms no one,
the drawers in the painted chests,
are filled with nothing,
the tables loaded with miniature, fake, repasts.

It’s night outside, about to snow, the dollhouse lights are on:
you’re in the dark,
watching the dollhouse like a thief,
pilfering its pockets for a clue to your own life,
wafted over by smells of cooking, and silence.

Inside the dark
a flute starts to play, imaginary people come in at the door:
invited to stay, they take off their coats,
tea is made in a miniature pot — oh,
it’s good I hear you say, let’s have crumpets too, and we put them on,
you and I, they’re almost crumbs but we toast them,
and what kind of jam do you want, I say, on top of the butter,
and you say raspberry,
and I give it to you, reader,

I give it to you and we both eat.
Outside the big house it’s snowing.
Applied frost creeps up the sides of the doll house windows,
the fake fireplace glows electric,
our toy dog sleeps on the rug —

a hush falls over this small house inside the big house,
we sleep in it…
I sleep, you sleep, he sleeps, she sleeps…
it sleeps, the real,
a sleep so delicious, we can dream in it,
as in a delirium, without sound…

windows opening into windows,
shoes never walked in at the door
that we slip on.

Submitted: Monday, April 23, 2012

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