By Prairie L. Markussen
You had steel girders for cheekbones,
a fortified frame, a daily team to polish
your many metals, tighten your edges
You had a crew to winterize you—
and bring you back to spring again.
You didn’t age, or sink
into the leveled ground. Everything stayed
nearly as promised: you were as fresh
as the first blueprints that inked eager hands.
Through the shimmering frame—a swirl of dust motes,
colliding and conceding,
the sun hitting at the right angle, blinding.
And a forgotten slab of basement concrete tilting
downward ever so slightly: a sneaky subtraction of degrees.
A corner keeping watch
over a family of possums. A fluff of gauzy
insulation pushing its way out.
A person might feel, on some cooler night,
the degree that was missing, the unprotected space
and shiver, glancing suspiciously toward measured walls.