We are builders who dream, dreamers who build.

The book is the house. The house has a shape, hammered together through hours of solitary work. We know where the walls and floors will be. We can envision the passages that will take us from one room to the other. If we sit in the middle of the space, we can hear ourselves think.

But no one lives here yet. Only ghosts and hope.

This is the house of Approximate Poetry, the place our story is right now. We know what colors will surround us. We can see them on the not-built walls. We know where the draperies will hang, where our favorite chair will wait, what corners the lamps will warm. Some of the nearly-finished rooms are beautiful and promising. In others, the wind whistles through.

The lovely parts…those are already solid, even unfinished as they are. They welcome us and embrace us and invite us to stay. These are the rooms with music built into them. The spaces we can look at proudly, knowing that the intention was sound, the execution impeccable, the poetry rich and real.

The raggedy, muddled, half-built parts—the parts the builder abandoned in a fit of self-doubt…. Ah, those. We doubt whether even the most diligent craftsmanship can redeem them. We worry that the rest of the place will crumble while we’re waiting for skill to overcome the builder’s hinkiness. We worry whether a vacant, overgrown lot might not be better there, after all.

In the meantime, we content ourselves with knowing that incomplete means incomplete; that the troublesome things can still be fixed, rethought, moved around. Nothing is finished until it is.

We are eager for the housewarming; the celebration of what made this house what it was. Yet, we’re afraid to finish it. We know that when we’re finished with this house, we’ll move to the next one. And we’ll love that one as much as we loved this. Because the moment that the poetry goes from approximate to real is the moment we live for. Because in each new space we build, we will discover that possibility can sing.

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