Margin: Exploring Modern Magical Realism

PAPER HOUSE

for Paul Beatty

We built our house
high in the air.
It was made of paper—
the Japanese sort
the sun slips through.
The floors were paper too.
It was suspended
on a long string
attached to heaven.
God let us hang
our house on a hook.
Clouds came around,
cumulus, nimbus,
cirrus-nebula.
But some people
on earth complained,
saying things like:
man is not an island—
an education is a terrible
thing to waste.
We said, yeah, we know,
but were still not coming down.
When that didn’t work,
they accused us of being high—
just hanging around
being happy,
said we were taking up
valuable air space
(though nowhere near
Newark Airport, LaGuardia
or Kennedy),
that we would have to pay:
cloud space, air space, o-zoning.

p a m e l a   h u g h e s
l y n d h u r s t,   n e w   j e r s e y


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Rev'd 2006/04/25