Meena Alexander

House of Clouds | Song
May 13, 2012 Alexander Meena

House of Clouds

 

Clouds float over Giudecca  Island,

Over a renovated factory, marked Hotel Stucky.

 

In the house of clouds

Voices of children torn from their mothers.

 

One cries, Go West to catch the sun!

East by the isthmus it grows darker.

 

Go find the almond tree

That grows in the Ghetto,

 

By the café without walls.

There you’ll find see my shadow.

 

I am Isaac

The boy with the torn knee.

 

Tintoretto saw me

Squatting on a stone

 

A knife

Above my neck bone.

 

Once I danced

In fields of red anemone

 

At the foot of Mount Moriah.

Remember me.

 

 

Song

 

Isaac, you are falling —

I am too.

 

Neither cotton

Nor silk

 

To cover the hole,

A ram’s horn

 

Jutting

Through blue.

 

Who lives there?

We thought God knew.

 

With short steps

I have made

 

A long journey

To elsewhere,

 

Isaac.

Meena Alexander an award winning poet and scholar has new work forthcoming in June 2018: her eighth book of poetry Atmospheric Embroidery (TriQuarterly Books/ Northwestern University Press); and Yale University Press will publish her edited volume, drawing on work by Twentieth Century Indian writers in several languages – Name me a Word: Indian Writers Reflect on Writing. She is Distinguished Professor of English at The Graduate Center / Hunter College, City University of New York.