Noah Warren

She painted me a quartered window

dominated by the airy whites and browns

of the top right quarter, where I felt myself receding.

The road was drying unevenly, and the clouds stood above it

as you would stand above a thread.

Where has my mother gone? There was a moment

yesterday evening when my mind leapt

holy with desire

then for an hour this morning I cried, and now

there is now: the icy lake, the houses, people

changing slowly into other people. Yes. I love

reading, and exercising, and love;

seasons; moving. The past and the present

loom like equal calamities above the hill

I’ll climb in my too-warm clothes,

my face gradually reddening, to show that I’m still

as brave as I was when I was a child

and the room went still with words I understood

but didn’t understand, and felt

it was somehow my role to heal.

There was a brother who melted from my arms

back into the walls of the womb—

the people who have them

relax on their balconies, with drinks.

Noah Warren is the author of The Complete Stories and The Destroyer in the Glass, winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets. He lives in Los Angeles and teaches at Claremont McKenna College.
Originally published:
March 27, 2024


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