Dollhouse Windows

Dollhouse Windows


There’s a tree beside my apartment building

that dies early every August, before anything else,


& sometimes a dollhouse

on the curb by the garbage;


an ugly dollhouse, with beautiful windows,

stained-glass windows—


no: not glass but a good imitation—


The way certain murderers

can blend in with the crowd:


unremarkable among faces in the group photo,

or speeding by in cars as I cross the Pulaski Bridge,


or behind me in the revolving door,


I in one glass chamber & they in the other—


like the Nazi in the movie fleeing a beautiful country

to retrieve his stash of diamonds: crossing a river,

he’s disguised as a hooded woman, a peasant.


Above the boat, other migrations:

birds, monarch butterflies.

As though nothing stationary could survive.


A monsoon of rain,

the elements moving toward his house,


& the window the monarchs cling to,

in the monsoon—


One Reply to “Dollhouse Windows”

  1. The last part of this poem was inspired by a scene from the movie Marathon Man (1976; dir. John Schlesinger). Disguised as a peasant woman, Laurence Olivier’s character–a diamond-smuggling Nazi–escapes from his hiding place. There is a shot of monarch butterflies clinging to a window, in a heavy rainstorm. “Monsoon” is license on my part; Olivier’s Nazi is living in South America, not Southeast Asia.

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