By Hudson Warm

I. Your Room is a River


& along the red riverbed I find myself

& you, resting. The day’s toils flock from us, little doves.

                                                                                 (weaving, leaving)


In this sacred palace I meet you each night; you call

it your darkened dorm room.


This flesh-on-flesh rhythm becomes routine, the flowers sprout

like wishes, one touch & they quiver.                                                                 

                                                                                      (white roses,

                                                                                                blood-red stains)

Amendment: it was once, but my mind reels

the scene in a routine. Falling, unfolding, opening, unspooling, softening.


In each quotidian moment you descend to me, haunting my body

with the memory. I don’t know whether it happened, or which parts.


All I know is the world moves on & I do not & in October I still

inhabit July but not its sun, its lint & limbs & latex & lying there, 


I imagine a scream so loud the river-room shakes

& plunges into a story I can never wholly tell. 


But then: the lake deltas like two legs 

yielding to you—I tremble but can’t speak, & so we dance. 

                                                                                 (twin cherubs, 

                                                            we’re spinning round

                                                                                 rising, falling) 


II. Baptism


Cover me in hands, gray sheets,

maybe just



Let me into your wrought-iron ribs; I want 

to live inside them.

                                   I asked 

                                   to be submerged but your water 

                                   was not safe. The blood & the burial & the wine 

                                                                                    & our rituals were not 



I read We Are Seven, Wordsworth 

                            & began to cry for that child. Wrap

              your limp fingers around my neck; squeeze

                            until you take one more thing from me:



                                                But who can I blame when

                                                I lay there willingly, my yielding flesh       ready

                                                to be maimed.


III. Eden


Wordsworth, I love you for making natural things

your religion. But what if I told you my flowers

line the Styx: petals charred, stalks



Your garden may hug you back until

you tear stems & they bleed, they bleed—

pale-throated Narcissus blooms that echo you

Wordsworth, you profess your love to

the lake in which

                    she drowned.


Do you remember the day in the garden?

         (Play-ground, prom night,

                                               pine needles)


You called me something; it became my name.

Your blood tasted like transition metals;

you were a small invention.

You ate the apple;

               I watched but said nothing.