We have not touched stars,
nor are we forgiven, which brings us back
to the hero’s shoulders and a gentleness that comes,
not from the absence of violence, but despite
the abundance of it. The lawn drowned, the sky on fire,
the gold light falling backward through the glass
of every room. I’ll give you my heart to make a place
for it to happen, evidence of a love that transcends hunger.
Is that too much to expect? That I would name the stars
for you? That I would take you there? The splash
of my tongue melting you like a sugar cube? We’ve read
the back of the book, we know what’s going to happen.
The fields burned, the land destroyed, the lovers left
broken in the brown dirt. And then it’s gone.
I would like to meet you all in Heaven. But there’s a litany of dreams that happens somewhere in the middle. Moonlight spilling on the bathroom floor. A page of the book where we transcend the story of our lives, past the taco stands and record stores. Moonlight making crosses on your body, and me putting my mouth on every one.
Richard Siken, “Snow and Dirty Rain,” from Crush
I had a dream about you. We were in a gold room where everyone finally gets what they want. You said Tell me about your books, your visions made of flesh and light and I said This is the Moon. This is the Sun. Let me name the stars for you. Let me take you there. The splash of my tongue melting you like a sugar cube … We were in the gold room where everyone finally gets what they want, so I said What do you want, sweetheart? and you said Kiss me. Here I am leaving you clues. I am singing now while Rome burns. We are all just trying to be holy. My applejack, my silent night, just mash your lips against me. We are all going forward. None of us are going back.
- Richard Siken, “Snow and Dirty Rain,” from Crush