With lush and deeply intimate language, Jayme Ringleb’s debut collection So Tall It Ends in Heaven explores sexuality, estrangement, and the distances we travel for love.
Following the end of a marriage, So Tall It Ends in Heaven‘s queer southern speaker tries to restore a relationship with his father. His father lives across an ocean, but more keeps them apart than just that: the father rejected his son long ago after learning that his son is gay. The poems search for answers across the United States and Europe, in and out of historical imagination, as the speaker struggles to separate his understanding of devotion and belonging from the constant losses in his life. Drawing from–and subverting–the formal traditions of love poems, parables, and elegies, the collection claims a vital space for one’s own solace. “Nobody will love you / like this poem does,” the speaker says; “Tell this poem / what you want. // Anything.”
In turns that are ruminative, funny, and tender, Jayme Ringleb’s debut collection questions what and whom one lets go of by coming out–can love, in all its complexities, ever be uncoupled from grief?