It could be air, a seemingly postless porch on a ridge edge in Connecticut.
Grounded by the too-wide dark brick cylinder within it?
Low clump of cabinets to the left
standing alone, no walls to be attached to. So
freestanding but not free.
As if round-backed, they’re bent against the sky.
With everything exposed, they might find safety only
in that, and in their reddish, homey-colored wood.
But the corners are sharp, right-angled.
There’s no hammer beam or sally in the house.
No gusset needed, balk. If there are sleepers, they’re sunk.
Only the cylinder is curved, only that
having anything to do with what might bend toward imperfection.
Anatolian cuneiforms etched into it? —a cylinder seal to be rolled onto
lake-sized sheets of wax intaglio, a communication thus
entering the mind? But the ancient seals are a little bit
bowed, this isn’t, smokestack shadow cast across the scene—
to scare off anyone who might approach
(as if they’d see it!) a room-sized house hanging in thin air,
banks of lush or leafless wild shrubs all around and down
the great ridge (for Connecticut)
may as well be in it. Trees erase it.
Copyright © Elizabeth Arnold
Used with the permission of Flood Editions.