Michael Bazzett

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Michael Bazzett

When They Built the House,

they built it solely out of windows
so they could fling
them open and the house would become
air. Even the door
was a window. When it came time
to leave, the man announced, I come and go
so breezily. The woman
claimed she could not tell
where the sky ended
and her breathing began,
and the child shouted, Look at my body
flutter in the wind! Meanwhile,
the cast-off doors leaned
melancholy against the barn. Eventually
they found jobs as tabletops
and bedsteads; a few joined
forces to become a makeshift raft and soon
found themselves adrift
among strange floes of arctic ice.
How exactly did we get here? they muttered.
All our lives we opened
for others, yet now it seems life’s just begun—

Michael Bazzett reads “When They Built the House”

Michael Bazzett is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently The Echo Chamber, (Milkweed, 2021). A recipient of awards from the Frost Place and the NEA, his poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Tin House, The Threepenny Review, The Sun, The Nation, and Granta. 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 New York Times. Find out more at www.michaelbazzett.com.