Here – Kai Edward Warmoth

It was likely 2009, the first encounter,
(although this is only a faint attempt
to grab at black pools of memory
and tether them to temporality). To admit:
it was wholly unremarkable.
A rurally-situated living room;
a facade for bonfires, circled by youth.
And you held a guitar and sang,
the fingertips of a false English accent,
swirling like wax from the melted crayons
of your influences.
Two other boys and a girl,
all of us high on jejunity, unawares we should
pray to be frozen in bloom,
lest the jade touch our hearts.
This was the first time. Detail above fate.
Such a shame that this novel I cannot now put down
opened with such blasé lines.
What quotidian mines we may trip over.

How far we travel upon interstates just
to commit our delictum, as if forsaken paramours
were rendered silent through distance,
as if ardor had international waters and
temporary autonomous zones.
Fifty-six miles from Evansville and I lunge to
knock a bowl from your lips as we race into the
eyesight of stationary swine, their radar eyes
narrowly missing us, their cancer barely kissing us.
O Eden, your mirth and the utter lack of compulsion
you throw at me!
O how amity can crawl back through the stairwells
of time and water what seeds fell from a morning apple,
bitten and thought not of again.
Grown through the top floor, bark biting the parapet,
cracking open the roof and here,
this is where,
the Blue Light first imprinted itself on my coin of
memory. The hard floor of kin and the soft skin of you.
What sort of dexterity you must have! To reach
into yore and past the unwanted hands, under the
beasts of imagination and the burden of blood,
up into the branches of this overlooked tree,
to feed me of it’s fruits, to offer osculation as answer
to my hesitation at stealing away from the Divine.
To palliate Original Sin is to merely continue, generation
after generation.
Augustine may have told us of the Fall
but he knew not what it meant to wake up to your voice,
to be lulled from the murk of sleep by the warmth of your skin.
I will fell this goddamn Tree of Knowledge and burn the weald
should you even intimate at being chilled.

You call me “honey” when I fall into coughing fits
or the blood blisters on my finger come into view.
A bliss that wings my bones, possibly because
it evokes an image of grandparents at a breakfast table,
their adulation carved into history with the handprints of
progeny, the communal attempts at All Of This Before Us
(the only justification needed, should you desire that sort of
As a lily among brambles, an apple tree among
trees of wood, you stand outside of my life’s epoch,
outside of interstates and guitars, unburnt by the Blue Light.
You are no victim to Time, you exist for me in the terrace
where a soul wanders before birth, after death, during praise.
You are a locked garden, in which saffron and myrrh kindle
and replenish, their physical forms unbothered by the flame,
their selflessness apparent in how they give off their perfume.
O, what more pious toil exists than to till this oasis? If this
is the sanction for pulling down the fruit, I shall turn
Original Sin into Eternal Sin, I shall find sustenance off of
the “honey” in your words, the locusts in your gaze.
I shall be like one crying in the wilderness, sitting across
from you at that breakfast table, the cadence of scions
reaching back through the looking glass, a metronome
under your shy plucking of the strings, painting that past
with the most beautiful of melodies, harmonizing with your voice.