• Maze III

    Richie Hofmann

    Spring 2024

    The streetlamps made the leaves
                            black. The night
          is a place of initiation.

    Virgins get fed to it.
                                        Beaches and ruins.
                            Skeletal buildings.

         The trees were young
    but the marble was old.
                My jaw hurt.

                I was young
          but my dream was old.
                            A force

    was galloping toward me.
                I took a bus, a bus
                            with locked windows

    to get here.
                The thing I looked for—
          I knew him by his beard.

    My skin touched
                by his mouth—
          saliva, cooked meat, red wine.

    Back home, the kids were cruel to me.
                            When I was happy
          they called me

                            a faggot
    to puncture that happiness.
                I was holding a rope

    Richie Hofmann is the author of two collections of poems, Second Empire and A Hundred Lovers.

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