A House Like a Ship
I live in a house like a ship
at times on land, at times on ocean.
I will myself into existence
surrender, invite grace in.
I heed the call of the siren.
On the phantom ship
I don’t know if I’m wave
or cloud, undine or seagull.
Lashed by winds, I cling tight to the mast.
Few return from the journey.
I now wear the memory of nothingness
a piece of white sail wrapped like second skin.
Hélène Cardona’s seven award-winning books include Life in Suspension and Dreaming My Animal Selves, and the translations Birnam Wood (José Manuel Cardona), Beyond Elsewhere (Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac), Ce que nous portons (Dorianne Laux), and Walt Whitman’s Civil War Writings. Her work has been translated into 16 languages. The recipient of numerous honors, she holds an MA (American Literature, Sorbonne), received fellowships (Goethe-Institut, Andalucía International University) and taught at Hamilton College and LMU.
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