Maze Without a Minotaur by Dana Gioia If we could only push these walls apart, unfold the room the way a child might take apart a box and lay it flat upon the floor—- so many corners cleared at last! Or else could rip away the roof and stare down at the dirty rooms, the hallways turning on themselves, and understand at last their plan—- dark maze without a minotaur, no monsters but ourselves. Yet who could bear to see it all? The slow descending spirals of the dust against the spotted windowpane, the sunlight on the yellow lace, the hoarded wine turned dark and sour, the photographs, the letters—-all the crowded closets of the heart. One wants to turn away—and cry for fire to break out on the stairs and raze each suffocating room. But the walls stay, the roof remains strong and immovable, and we can only pray that if these rooms have memories, they are not ours.
Dana Gioia, “Maze without a Minotaur” from The Gods of Winter. Copyright © 1991 by Dana Gioia.