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Paul Hoover / House of Cedar, Rafters of Fir


Hoover is not a poet I’m familiar with but another that I discovered on the excellent Poetry Foundation app. He is riffing on the imagery of the Song of Solomon but the liberation and curious placements of imagery makes it feel extra erotic and a bit queer.


scent of myrrh on the handles

            when oil is in the lock

silken is his mouth

            when he is hard upon me


young heart, green bed,

            his fingers are in the stream

he eats of the bitter honey

            the sweetness of cherry


sacrament of the blood

            and of its winding

sacrament of arrival

            and of its binding


expert in earth, eager in flesh

            he falls upon me and feasts

the watchmen have not seen him

            nor the owl in her nest


his darkness at noon

            among the white buildings

a hand that was stone

            builds the inner temple


sacrament of what is written

            on the table of the heart

blueness of the wound

            where he has placed his kiss

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