When They Built the House,

Michael Bazzett

they built it solely out of windowsso they could flingthem open and the house would becomeair. Even the doorwas a window. When it came timeto leave, the man announced, I come and goso breezily. The womanclaimed she could not tellwhere the sky endedand her breathing began,and the child shouted, Look at my bodyflutter in the wind! Meanwhile,the cast-off doors leanedmelancholy against the barn. Eventuallythey found jobs as tabletopsand bedsteads; a few joinedforces to become a makeshift raft and soonfound themselves adriftamong strange floes of arctic ice.How exactly did we get here? they muttered.All our lives we openedfor others, yet now it seems life’s just begun—

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Michael Bazzett is the author of five books of poetry, including The Echo Chamber (Milkweed Editions, 2021) and The Temple (Bull City, 2020). His work has appeared recently in Granta, Agni, The American Poetry Review, The Sun, The Nation, and The Paris Review, and his verse translation of the Mayan creation epic, The Popol Vuh, (Milkweed, 2018) was named one of 2018’s best books of poetry by the NY Times. The recipient of an NEA Fellowship, he lives in Minneapolis.


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