Michael Bazzett


There is one woman who lives in the world
who differs from anyone who’s walked the earth.
You cannot discern the trait with searching eyes
nor well-phrased questions nor deft surveillance
but when she leaves a room and shuts the door

the entire space that is inside those four walls
disappears and is replaced with an identical space
that has been manufactured in an offshore facility
down to an exact replica of the molecular make-up
of the stale air resting within the dome of the light
sprouting like an inverted mushroom from the ceiling.

The singular exception is that one square inch
of air has been removed from that replacement
so that upon departure a tiny vacuum is created
and the room is finally allowed to begin breathing.
As sophisticated as our culture can sometimes be
we have yet to discover this fact of architecture:

Buildings are alive. They inhabit space and we
enter them as thoughts or souls or even passing
whims just as this poem has been unexpectedly
building to where we could invoke the word
building as a verb to highlight the obvious yet
apparently easy-to-miss fact that every time we

walk through the external entrance of a building
momentum or mounting suspense we are inside
a poem or a process that might well entrance us
yet we are too willing to mistake it for something
fixed, even though that is the word we might use
when someone has bent the rules at our expense.