Love Song: I and Thou
–Alan DuganNothing is plumb, level, or square:the studs are bowed, the joistsare shaky by nature, no piece fitsany other piece without a gapor pinch, and bent nailsdance all over the surfacinglike maggots. By ChristI am no carpenter. I builtthe roof for myself, the wallsfor myself, the floorsfor myself, and gothung up in it myself. Idanced with a purple thumbat this house-warming, drunkwith my prime whiskey: rage.Oh I spat rage’s nailsinto the frame-up of my work:it held. It settled plumb,level, solid, square and truefor that great moment. Thenit screamed and went on through,skewing as wrong the other way.God damned it. This is hell,but I planned it. I sawed it,I nailed it, and Iwill live in it until it kills me.I can nail my left palmto the left-hand crosspiece butI can’t do everything myself.I need a hand to nail the right,a help, a love, a you, a wife.