you wanted her. I wanted you.

Distance was the house in which I welcomed you.
But it was in the river
that we became cadence, there where the current braided

together again, after the stone bridge stanchion parted the stream.
It was to last only as long as the beauty lasted.
Do you believe in the soul?

Words from the void, wet and mewling.
Where we walked on the mountain, water
poured around us, surging up from springs, seethed

down in rivulets, rocky streams, and one long blinding cascade:
your kisses were an eau-de-vie and as bitter.
I am poured out like water.

Distance is feminine in French.
I held a knife to a man's throat and let him bleed quietly into a cup.
What does "us" mean?

Coiled serpentine headdress of Leonardo's woman:
you wanted her. I wanted you.
Chill sunlight flexing itself on the city river

gave me the emptiness I needed
to write these instructions: Sorrow
is a liqueur. Drink deep. We will all be consumed.

[Rosanna Warren, 'From the Notebooks of Anne Verveine, VII', from Ghost in a Red Hat: Poems]


  1. However, I'm pretty sure I'm not thrilled with this one, or rather the emotions evoked. It's the kind of poem I struggle with.

    Ironically, the WV=misting

  2. This is a "it's raining and I'm feeling river-y" poem. I like the swirling metaphors. I'm not as fond of the inconsistent stanzas, the fragments, and the nonsensical blathering. The last 3 phrases (from "sorrow" onward) made it a keeper, though, in the end.