I had a dream about you. We were in the 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, excerpt from “Snow and Dirty Rain”
"Here is my hand, my heart,- Richard Siken, Saying your names
my throat, my wrist.
Here are the illuminated
cities at the center of me,
and here is the center of me,
which is a lake, which is a well
that we can drink from,
but I can’t go through with it.
I just don’t want to die anymore."