Buildings

I see their streaked faces and recessed entryways, their windows
washed white by the rain. How cheerful, how brave
your voice was as you asked if I wanted anything from Whole Foods,
where you had to go, amid all the other Wednesday clutter—
turning back, you paused in the door, backlit by the morning gray.
Between us lay five years of love, which you talked about
as a quantity, that accumulates. And that morning was the beginning
of that night, morning, day, and night, those thirty-six hours
ten months ago now, when you convulsed with a new, raging sorrow
which I surprised you by returning, but more viciously, finding, as I broke
from the self I’d made, charring ecstasy—hours of weeping and reasoning,
of fucking, drinking, and takeout, hours of storming out and creeping back
and kissing dead lips once more to be sure, hours I refuse to remember
that hardened into the low city I walked out into, already retreating from me.

Noah Warren

Noah Warren

Noah Warren is the author of The Complete Stories (2021) and The Destroyer in the Glass (2016), winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets. Recent poems appear in The Paris Review, Poetry, The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. He is a PhD student in English at UC Berkeley and a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford.
Noah Warren

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Author: Noah Warren

Noah Warren is the author of The Complete Stories (2021) and The Destroyer in the Glass (2016), winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets. Recent poems appear in The Paris Review, Poetry, The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. He is a PhD student in English at UC Berkeley and a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford.