What Does a House Want?

by Gary Geddes, World BEYOND War, June 2, 2021

What does a house want?

A house has no unreasonable expectations
of travel or imperialist ambitions;
a house wants to stay
where it is.

A house does not demonstrate
against partition or harbour
a house is a safe
haven, anchorage, place
of rest.

Shut the door on excuses
greed, political expediency.

A house remembers
its original inhabitants, ventures
the woman
tossing her hair
on a doorstep, the man
bent over his tools and patch
of garden.

What does a house want?

Laughter, sounds
of love-making, to strengthen
the walls;
a house
wants people, a permit
to persevere.

A house has no stones
to spare; no house has ever been convicted
of a felony, unless privacy
be considered a crime in the new

What does a house want?

Firm joints, things on the level, water
rising in pipes.

Put out the eyes, forbid
the drama of exits,
entrances. Somewhere
in the rubble a mechanism
leaks time,
no place
familiar for a fly
to land

Palestine, 1993


“From What Does A House Want? Selected Poems, Red Hen Press, 2014. La poesia what does a house want non è inclusa nel volume, di prossima pubblicazione in Italia (2017-2018), On Being Dead in Venice, antologia che raccoglie testi e traduzioni apparsi su varie riviste online italiane insieme a poesie ancora inedite in Italia. Si ringrazia la redazione di Interno Poesia per averci consentito di riproporla”.

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