by Tiel Aisha Ansari
This is the house of wings and unbaked clay,
the house of the moon when it is gibbous.
This is the house that journeys into darkness
with you, but is not guardian or guide.
This is the house where fountains mutter
and statues smell of vervain,
where cat shadows prowl the ceiling.
Its porticoes are porphyry and its floors
slick like the bellies of salamanders.
This is the house whose windows look out
for themselves. Whose walls are flocked
with eider. This is the house where words
only are possible. It’s where you went for tea
with Scheherezade that time she told you
to forget. This is the house you can’t find
the way out of. This is the house you can’t find.
Sufi warrior poet Tiel Aisha Ansari has been featured by Measure, Windfall, and Everyman’s Library. Her collections include Knocking from Inside, High-Voltage Lines, Country Well-Known as an Old Nightmare’s Stable, The Day of My First Driving Lesson, and Dervish Lions. She hosts Wider Window Poetry on KBOO Community Radio.
Photo by Ana Danilina