Rilke Poem

Richie Hofmann

His studio like a Bohemian’s but astringent,
a poem by Rilke framed beside his bed
in the kitchen, which he read to me
the night it rained hotly, in a language I used to know,
and summer curled the crisp edges
of a map taped to the wall.
I covered his eyes with my lips, but he pushed me away (“there’s
no returning from there”), the window unit sputtering
black flecks onto the sofa, which he’d covered
with a sheet. We sweat on it
from our hair and armpits and genitals.
Morning would efface
us both, our unfinished selves, our
need to look masculine, refined, and in control.

Richie Hofmann is the author of the poetry collections Second Empire and A Hundred Lovers.
Originally published:
June 1, 2020

Featured

Community

Finding company on and off the page
Carl Phillips

Conversations

Emily Ogden and Dana Spiotta

Reckoning with middle age and complicity
Emily Ogden
and
Dana Spiotta

The Stakes of Dictee

An introduction to a famously difficult work
Ken Chen

You Might Also Like


German Cities

Richie Hofmann

Newsletter

Sign up for The Yale Review newsletter and keep up with news, events, and more.