those Saxonized suffixes of lintels,
parged to perfection by professionals
in the builders' guild--contemplates

the language of the trade: the rabbet
of the groove for a perfect ship-lap
no salt sea can split, sunder or cast aleak;

whether the windowframe must or won't
be plowed for ropes; how long the floor-
boards must 'relax' in the heat of the house

to forget the chill of the lumber-yard
and learn to lie down indoors. Considers
facia, marvels at Zimmerman Fasteners

delicate, elegant and tough, like the dainty
knees, elbows, shoulders of horses-
and what a can of worms squirms there,

pastern, hock and withers; puts his money
on language (suddenly overwhelmed by tout,
teaser, push, parley, juice, homedog, whale),

on language, he repeats, to outlive us all--
living, as every one of us does, in a house
of porridge, perfectly parged or not.