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Architecture Moraine

Joanna Fuhrman

A woman builds a house out of birds' cries and cries
all the time within it. The man she had wanted says,

"I am looking for a woman who is crying, but can't
tell if anyone is crying inside that house's outer

crying." So she builds another house; this time, tears
for bricks, and cries as loud as she can within it.

Still he can't hear her because the house's
rectangular tears are too dazzlingly beautiful

to hear within. At this point, they both should be
laughing. The ceiling is neither of their mouths,

but full of teeth. The sky above: a chicken,
fresh out of a fake swamp, opening its eyes

and flashing its resplendent wings.

**

They called this coincidence
"summer" and continued
on their merry way.

She, like a man,
invisible when
opening a checkbook.

He, like a woman,
invisible when taking
off his clothes.

They both envied
text, only invisible
when someone

would claim it was
"poetry" like
a photograph,

only invisible
when said to be
"fact."

**

All walls lie.

Say somewhere an ocean is empty of leaves.

Say somewhere our dance is inside the roof's burnt-down need.

The red shoe calls out to be danced in.

The potato calls out to be held like a doll.

The house calls out to be as empty as poetry

And say, yes, ma'am, I am empty as poetry.”

And say, "yes, sir, I am the soft spot on the back of a scar."

Somewhere a harpsichord is weeping.

Somewhere someone can hear a harpsichord weeping.

Somewhere someone can hear a harpsichord weeping and tell us what
          the weeping is for.

A man holds a stethoscope to a woman’s closed mouth.

A man holds a tongue out to another man’s car.

This is just stereotype.

Those ideas:

a woman a woman a woman a woman a woman a man.

**

"Let's say all poems are a Band-Aid on the word.
Let's say a house is a poem that doesn't know it

once died. Then to be a woman is exactly like being
a man, but to be a man is unlike anything a woman

might possibly be."

This was the song of the house on the brink of the room's
smallest eye hat cursed two belted felt smile, two knocked up
ideas, a prickly tremble inside a self made of nothing but noise,
while room temperature barbecue butterfly shenanigans drip.

© 2006 Joanna Fuhrman. By permission of Hanging Loose Press.

© 2006 Joanna Fuhrman. By permission of Hanging Loose Press.

Joanna Fuhrman

by this poet

poem
Everyone I ever loved is standing 
on a platform with a gun. 

In the cartoon version, a flag pops 
with the word 'bang.' 

In the soap opera version, 
my face turns the color of merlot. 

In the haiku version, 
metal gleams in the narrow shadow.

In the Republican version, 
two guns wrap themselves in a single
poem

The book is made of glass and I look 
through it and see more books. 

Many glass books.

Is someone speaking?

     A muffled voice is telling me 
to make soup which I think 
means I am loved. 

What other kind of cup 
fills itself?