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FURTHER READING
Poems by Joanna Fuhrman
Song for Future Books
Trigger Guard
Poems about Buildings
Block City
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Broadway
by Mark Doty
Cape Coast Castle
by Yusef Komunyakaa
Glass House
by Heather McHugh
Notes on a Visit to Le Tuc D'Audoubert
by Clayton Eshleman
Skyscraper
by Matt Rasmussen
Steps
by Grace Schulman
The Barcelona Inside Me
by Robin Becker
The Parallel Cathedral
by Tom Sleigh
The Starlings
by Jesper Svenbro
Water Picture
by May Swenson
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Architecture Moraine

 
by 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.
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