The Architecture of a Love Poem

Love's balustrade, love's balcony
             a few iron words that can be seen anywhere still
in grocery lists, in laundry hung between two objects,
             an e-mail, in an apology, in a thought about the weather
these rusty words, these rusting gates
              before a breath, Standing in the cold morning
on a cold blue stairs, with a curlicue of coffee
              you look at the word Love written on the
side of the Pharmacy in cherry-vanilla flavored cursive
              because this is where a love poem once stood,
what I am saying right now is secretly built over
              a love poem, the fossils of a cupola,
pink buildings with red hyphens and dashes
              and three red dots, You, second person pink
with shutters you could open with a fingernail
              like in an advent calendar to see sticker scenes
of apartments inside: a radiator, a bare arm,
              two cups by themselves on a table
The mind of the attic still persists up there
              meditative water
and the chairs talking quietly to one another
              It's now pink rubble, rhyming bricks, and an illicit balcony
the heart had such a fancy elevator
              that it started to look like a bird cage
and once in a lemon-scented fog
               near springtime-fresh trees, I heard two people say,
"Yellow kiss-shaped flowers, telephone flowers,
              are falling from my mouth now"
Now, it's a set of blue and white checkered apartment buildings
              math problems that are eight stories high
a long division jutting as pollution into the sky
              laundry, cooking spills, gasoline shirts
commas, theories or arguments of boyfriends & girlfriends
              boyfriends & boyfriends, girlfriends & girlfriends,
all hanging out of the window that you opened.


Alexandria Peary, "The Architecture of a Love Poem" from Fall Foliage Called Bathers & Dancers. Copyright © 2008 by Alexandria Peary.  Reprinted by permission of Backwaters Press.
Source: Fall Foliage Called Bathers & Dancers (Backwaters Press, 2008)
More Poems by Alexandria Peary