City Delights

Hugh Cook

I rolled my tongue along

The hot geranium staining my mouth,

Nectar left by flower sorbet,

Watching my cousin’s blond height

In the French summer.


“As a child on the New York subway,

Knowing we were packed like rats

And smelled of shit,

I still loved the density of humanity.”


For the first time

I thought of myself as part

Of the sweating night; 

Cooling our bodies

On the stones of the street.


We lay with the city’s people,

So close we became an offering,

Buried by stars and symbols.


I looked back.

Once past the Cathedral’s throng

The people walked together,

Scraping cobbles older than

They will ever be.


Tonguing redness at my lip,

I watched the moon fall

On all of us walking back

From Catabasis,

Divulging through streets.

Hugh Cook attends the University of California Santa Barbara studying writing and literature. He has authored a collection titled The Day it Became a Circle (Afterworld Books). His poetry has been published in Tipton Poetry Journal, Ariel Chart, Muddy River Poetry Review, and Blue Unicorn.