Charise Hoge



I'm a room


that houses a quiet choir.
The anticipated organist
latent to arrive. He—

it must be “he”––
has forgotten us.
I assume.


A room of assuming.

Rustling garb, glances

to & fro. Time passes

like color fading.


A room of color fading.

I failed art from the get-go,
adding paint on paint

until my paper looked brown.

Layers dulling.


A room of dulling.
In first grade I hummed,

without knowing that I hummed.
The teacher had me stand,

walk and hum between desks.
Pilloried, at six.


A room at six.

My mom toweling me dry

after a bath. I shake

my nakedness. To move like this

is not nice. My naughty body stops.


A room that stops.

The choir gone to seed.
Nothing other than a sweep

of heather, bracken, peat.


I’m a moor.

Charise Hoge is a dance/movement therapist, writer, and performing artist. She is the author of Striking Light from Ashes (Finishing Line Press) and Muse in a Suitcase (Kelsay Books). Her poetry is also featured in the book Next Line, Please: Prompts to Inspire Poets and Writers (edited by David Lehman, Cornell University Press), as well as various journals, such as High Shelf Press, Journal of Military Experience & the Arts, The New Verse News, Tuck Magazine, and Beyond Words Literary Magazine. She was the streetcar poet of Art All Night H Street, DC, in 2019, 2021, and 2022.

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