“Architecture is merely the embellishment with which we hide our

deepest needs.”

—Jean Le Rond d’Alembert




I am becoming more and more deadbeat

with this star on my stomach.

Put your hand on my spotlight.

Together we can paint

eggshells like blankets,

we can lick sandpaper

for its red flavor.


This is not a tapestry

but something else

in our mouths:

a pendulum, a window.

















In this house there is a sink.

In this house there is another house.

A house of hobbies,

A house of sparkplugs.

There is an entirely steel kitchen.

There is a self,

and a remainder of the self.

You don’t have jowls.

You have immoral junk,

a cup of brain pox.

We feel tricked,

like always growing up beside a fern.



















I feel like a compass at this little table.

Rheumy from sleep,

radiating from both ends.

What’s settled now

will not always be settled.

I think we know this.

See: foxtrot, sarcophagus

see: sacred.

















See this shadow of the radiator,

closed eyes over a stairway.

See me woolen on the linoleum.

Blonde hair shaping

what is glass.

















Strung up in heirlooms,

you jut out into the fog.

The owner of many hands

all of which I am familiar.


The paint over our doorway is still wet.

We find and arrange coffee grounds

on the granite counters.

We hose down the flowers

and never see a flood.

















Light breaks on the crown of your head.

Untroubled, you sit on the gray carpet.

A cricket keeps me awake.


Our body parts are alive,

full of living things,

as one might say

a terrarium is alive.


We hear whispers from the floor above.

The bathroom tiles sweat

and the ceiling drips

so we fall asleep in the park.

















There is a room in here,

and inside of the room

there is a book about volcanoes.

In the book a little girl’s arms are burning

to create speaking.


You have memorized the room,

its museum sound,

what the little girl meant.


What if we never find a place to live?

What is your favorite trimester?


In the kitchen we open the door to science.      

The end of the year

is always coming up on us.

















This is exquisite, this open concept. 

Elsewhere a load-bearing wall,

a dangerous business.

We have no use for parquet floors,

for predictable rooms,

for pure function.


We still love those we hear

on the porch downstairs,

still walk all night in the bare mulch.

















We leave the radio on to drown out

the sound of water leaking.


I have stopped thinking

that children are everywhere.

















You are so glad in the dark of the porch

asking me to cook for you

the ovens a short distance away,

heating and heating.


Don’t you love the ocean?

Sometimes I hear all of it in separate rooms.

Rooms that spot us squarely.

Rooms full of water towers.

In our house, pockets are nervous

and for thirty-odd years

open out onto the floor.

















Give me those arms.

It looks like we’ve covered

a lot of ground here, tall versions

of selves in the French cinema.

The acoustics unbelievable.


We needn’t ever count nickels again

or unpack the bedclothes,

although I would be

straw in our house.

I would hold our children to the sky.

















Anything the ocean,

Anything dance halls and ballets.

How social pale morning was.


I wonder if I’ll ever see you alone again.

Outside, your coconut is leaking out onto the lawn.  

















Only the restlessness in a kitchen,

overage, as if

siphoning off hours

under the stove,

coils in apertures,

or mice,

or milk.

















Welcome, cipher.

Welcome, recession.

Welcome each other.

Summer loves us too,

builds us up

to lumber, wooden.

Hoping for something curious,

as in, the road is to Providence.

Just get on and get going






Gale Marie Thompson is the author of two books of poetry, Soldier On (Tupelo Press) and Expeditions to the Polar Seas(Coconut Books, 2016), and two chapbooks, If You’re a Bear, I’m a Bear (H_NGM_N) and Expeditions to the Polar Seas(Sixth Finch). Her work may be found in places like Gulf Coast, Guernica, Denver Quarterly, Volt, Sixth Finch, The Volta, and the Colorado Review. She is the founding editor of Jellyfish Magazine, and lives, writes, and teaches in Athens, GA.