Historic District



With purpose,
you pull up the blinds.

Light enters the room
like a feeling violating a man.

Sitting up in a bed built for a husband
and a wife, I think for a second

nature has taken us back,
ornamental leaves scalloping

the plaster walls,
the white ceiling.

The mirror brings us closer to death,
Cocteau said something like that.

Our hair is stiff, our gray eyes flecked with gold.
You spit purple mouthwash into the sink.

Stay with me.

We were old children
when we met.




Richie Hofmann. Photo by Marcus Jackson

Richie Hofmann is the author of a collection of poems, Second Empire. A 2017-19 Wallace Stegner Fellow, he is now Jones Lecturer in Poetry at Stanford University.



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“Historic District” appeared in TLR: Contents May Shift (Summer, 2020)