Do Architects Name Their Buildings

Three minutes before the mudslide,
I sit in the gardenshed of you—
woodrot, pardoned
given to the carpenter ants.

I peel at plywood,
name my body a townhouse

built to be the walls of someone else.



One minute after the mudslide,
I am asked to qualify what happened
give it a name:

this is the passing, remembering
of something being built.


Three minutes after,
you name me stilt house,
call my body leggy and sound

not much to rebuild.

You ask me how I survived:
I show you the blueprints
pulled from your shelf.


Mariah Perkins is a poet originally from Grand Rapids, MI, where she came up at the best open mic around—The Drunken Retort. She is an MFA candidate at Wichita State University. Mariah is currently the Nonfiction editor at WSU’s literary magazines Mikrokosmos and mojo. Her work has appeared in fugue and Crack the Spine. You can also hear her work online through WYCE’s Electric Poetry.