Issue > Poetry
Carlie Hoffman

Carlie Hoffman

Carlie Hoffman is a recipient of the 2016 Discovery Poetry Prize and a finalist for the 2017 Gwendolyn Brooks Centennial Poetry Prize. Her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart and Best of the Net prizes and appear or are forthcoming in Bennington Review, Boston Review, Narrative, Nashville Review and elsewhere. A native of New Jersey, she received her MFA from Columbia University, where she was a teaching fellow for creative writing.

To Brooklyn and Part Way Back

When I couldn't make you love
winter I spent a lot of time underground,
riding the C train from my 168th street
station down to the last stop at Euclid,
and though I disliked Brooklyn for its
other-worldness and so-far-awayness, I
liked all the different colored shoes I'd see
from stop to stop, and how the bars
hang Christmas lights year round. I tried—
packing snow in the freezer to make
things casual, and later the air conditioner
always on until the only option left
was touch, but just like thinking God
could show up in a creek styled as the heron
we followed last June, through stone and sledge
to the swimming hole, our naked backs
riddled with sun like kaleidoscopes, it was useless
wanting to perfect change
and so inexact as truth. What matters
is what we tell each other for certain:
Winter is coming. I bet my life on this.

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