Carlie Hoffman

North Window
by Carlie Hoffman

Tonight I love you on a spring morning. I love you with the window open. You are mine, and things are mine, and my love alters the things around me and the things around me alter my love. –Jean-Paul Sartre

On any given day two people are building a room, wishing it becomes a cathedral. Together, they choose the white curtains to hang from the rod of their bedside window. The spring mud coming up through sidewalk cracks. The mango sun making the street of brick apartments shine the color of a lion’s back. The distant clouds. They paint the frame the muddy, tin shade of sycamore bark. The walls: the fleshy underbelly of a fish. An illusion of breathing dizzily under water, like peering through a cathedral’s stained glass. It was like lions, they want to say, but can’t. Instead, while they work, they consider all the clouds in the corners of all the windows of their pasts: A school bus, a sliding screen door at the threshold of a den. Always looking out, distracted, and thinking about sex. And once, the December morning spent staring up in Rembrantplein square, watching the clouds rush over the tops of spires. The clouds like sudden lions blazing across a clear and steady plain, flooded with light. They told themselves the Earth was spinning away beneath their feet. First because they didn’t know what it felt like. After, because they did.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 18, Issue 2.

Carlie HoffmanCarlie Hoffman is from New Jersey. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Gulf Stream Literary Magazine, Nashville Review, Jai-Alai Magazine, and Canary: A Literary Journal of Environmental Crisis.

See all items about Carlie Hoffman

Visit Carlie Hoffman’s contributors page.

Leave a Reply