Eventually I run out of bullshit to say and tell her, you‘re beautiful. Arris gives me one of her soft looks and says, ‘I know.’ Her words stick in my heart as the most wonderful of splinters, I collect them now and forge little tableaux with the material. When they are ready I unveil them to her like proud popsicle constructions of architectural marvels. ‘This is good,’ she always says, and gives me tips toward their betterment. You’re not merely beautiful but right, I tell her. ‘So are you,’ she says, unloading a fresh batch of structural substance.
A penny for your thoughts and a quoin for your wall, I’ll scream from the ramparts, I love it all. From curlicue to balustrade, balcony to bay, I relish the delicacy with which your facade is made. In basement, through casement, under transom and truss, a handful of setbacks will never break us. Beautiful buttresses and steep moulding spires, immaculate masonry and a hearth full of fires, and under the eaves an attic rife with desires, my one castellation now thrown to the pyre. A last little roundel placed on my heart, one final flourish that sets you apart.
I remember when we broke into that under construction building. We made love with my jumper as a buffer between the concrete and bare skin. I was disturbed by the structural skeleton we were in, the lack of romantic amenity and the fresh awkwardness of pre-acquaintance, not to mention the fine-grained grit of unpolished workmanship appearing in every crevice. She was very careful to show she didn’t notice and voraciously attentive in her caring. I was in pain for so long afterwards. They never did finish that building, I hear it’s still empty, incomplete and totally fitting.