Nothing So Obstinate as a Venetian Door
by HEIDI HART
You painted them closed.
I write, my window painted shut ... what Jakob Grimm once called
the “closed world” of the folktale ...
My ellipses. Your bronze panels. Peeling paint.
I write, until the pressure within exceeds the pressure without ...
For tax reasons, homeowners allow the building’s face to crumble.
Lock the doors. Inside, a Turkish rug, a gleaming chandelier.
You write, to go back to work painting open doors and windows ...
Italo Calvino writes a love letter to Venice, city of many names, Thekla,
Leandra, Zobeide, Maurilia, Phyllis, Leonia, Zemrude, Argia ...
He writes, At night, putting your ear to the ground, you can sometimes
hear a door slam.
In the Tan Dun opera, Marco/Polo are two people, male and female, tenor
breaking into aria, Venezia ... breaking from Mandarin into Italian.
You write, thresholds, liminal ... doors and windows in me ... I never knew were shut ...
Calvino, on Eutropia: there each will take up a new job, a different wife,
will see another landscape opening his window ...
In my dream, a burglar at the door. Brass knob trembling, wood about to split.
HEIDI HART received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College in 2000 and currently teaches creative writing at Westminster College in Salt Lake City. Her published work includes the memoir Grace Notes: The Waking of a Woman’s Voice (University of Utah Press, 2004) and the four-poet collection Edge by Edge (Toadlily Press, 2007). In the past three years I have received a Pushcart Prize for poetry, a Utah Arts Council Established Artist Grant, an Honorable Mention in the New Letters essay competition, and a Jentel Foundation Residency Award. My poetry and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Harpur Palate, Lumina, Cimarron Review, Pleiades, Quarterly West, Monkscript, Pilgrimage, Western Humanities Review, BrokenPlate, Ellipsis, Dialogue, CityArt, Irreantum, The Cortland Review, Friends Journal, The Salt Flats Annual, Northern Lights, Isotope, and qarrtsiluni.