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from Love, an Index

Rebecca Lindenberg


Abandon, what I did when you touched me
            that winter with an ungloved hand.
Ache, the heal of broken things: bones, disappointments.
    of Love, Fragonard’s babycolored paintings,
            Ovid’s pursuers and storied looms, his Atalanta
            her golden balls. The longing to know
            how things become what they weren’t always.
    of Death, skulls, as in depictions of the penitent
            Magdalene. What should knowing we’ll die
            elicit? What does salvation have to do
            with being safe?
Angelbones, you alone
            have them. Where the wings came off. Where the wings belong.
    Brooklyn, its winding stair reminding me
            of Yeats: “all men rise to greatness by..”
            A bicycle chained there.
    South Dakota, we gave your son the only bedroom,
            woke early to salted baguette and snow.
    Salt Lake City, a porch ghost, a view
            of the valley’s glittering grid, my sister, your
            poor broken friend, we grilled squid
            on the Smokey Joe. Tripod. Carpet. Halloween.
    Laramie, a basement, a stoveless kitchen,
            toaster-roasted eggplant, baseboard
            heat and sex in woolen socks.
    Rome, 5B, stone floors, white kitchen, white as the madness
            I felt there, a bed that was twin beds held
            together with so much duct tape, always
            suggesting itself as metaphor;
    yours, with your father maybe, me maybe.
    mine, with you for finding expression of it
            towards my family instead; there are other ways
            of telling the story of our two angers, entwined
            like bodies in the act of love. But in this one
            I am not a villain.
Anne Carson,
    the “Short Talks” from Plainwater, poolside
            in Greece during an Easter Parade, clanking
            in doorways for ouzo and bread;
    The Autobiography of Red, in which Geryon
            understood that people need
            acts of attention from each other.
Attention (see also: Anne Carson)
            “Geryon understood that people need acts of attention from each other.”


    code, allows a computer to represent text – b
            is "000011110”. L-O-V-E too is a series
            of 1’s and 0’s where 0 means “off” and 1 means “on”.
    opposition, like presence-absence, male-female, love-
            innocence, love-hate, love-longing.
    star, two astronomical bodies orbiting each other
            so closely they’re lost in each other’s light, and appear as one.
Bogota, city in the Andes surrounded by steep
            jungle. We did not fight in Bogota. Beaten
            gold. White sanctuary. We love
            the Mexican restaurant full of wooden stairs
            overlooking vast expanses of Modernist architecture,
            colonial plazaslit-up slums. La Candelaria
            is home to statues of ghosts, presence of absence.
            Carts sell hot corn. We passed a woman
            laying on the sidewalk, pregnant a second time –
            her belly swelled in half-globes around a dark scar
            like a peach around its deep groove. Storytellers
            ride the busses, shattered petals and piles of thorns
            and broad bruised leaves carpet the lot
            where a flower market teems in the day. Sushi
            joint. Iranian embassy. A row of buildings trimmed
            in tropical flowers and razor wire. Bookstore. We watched
            Bollywood dubbed into Spanish on the old-fashioned TV
            in your sublet apartment.
Bollywood, where love is an exhuberant fantasy
            of song. Many stories stop before they end.


    etude. Major keys seem to have to do with light, minor
            keys with shadows cast by Major keys.
    nocturne, an evocation of watchful owls, shimmer
            of satin and violins. Or of a woman at a desk
            with a glass of wine, trying to see through
            her own reflection in the window.
    prelude, an introduction to the silence that follows it.
Comfort, erotic. (Example: Campion, “For when she comes
            where comfort is she never will say no.”)
Compromise, I will get up early with you
            so long as there is coffee.
    about poems, you like “the sound of rice
            poured into a pan.” I like the bird
            who rings like a wetted wine-glass rim,
            and the bird who casts its shadow on the sea. I like
    poems, “held between two people, Lucky Pierre-style.”
            (See also: Frank O’Hara.) With Coleridge, when done reading
            “I rise as though in prayer.” Such poems gather
            everything into the now of the poem. I want to gather
            everything into the now of this poem, but I can’t.
            All is gloss (see also: Gloss).
Coquette, you called me once. Coy, you called me. I am
            neither. I am all candor and anxiety. But whatever
            I am, I am all for you.

D, E

Deadwood, ringing with slot machines. We drank pear wine
            in a cheap motel. I said “you take me
            to awll the noicest places” in a funny voice because
            it wasn’t true yet and I didn’t care. You funny-
            voiced me back, “Whaddya want? They got ice
            machines, they got HBO, dial up some
            va-va-voom.” We laughed. We showered
            together and your peppermint soap gave me chills.
Desire, a chord played deep in the bass of the body. It’s good
            to feel and to forget.
Divorce, far from a way you thought
            you had of thinking of yourself. This story
            includes a divorce, which is how I come in.
D.H. Lawrence (see also: Desire), tells us “no, no, it is
            the three strange angels – admit them,
            admit them!”

Emily, my sister, a wit and when asked what single thing
            she’d bring to a desert island, she said: “a yacht.”
            Like me, she fears to make mistakes.
    Homeric, such as “swift-footed,” even when he’s sitting down,
            or perhaps “breaker of horses.” For women, “soft-braided”
            or “glancing.” I have some for you, tall man, with your angelbones
            and your poppyred birthmark and your soft, soft hands
            and all those songs you made. My myth-maker. My great dark man.
Ex-, a prefix meaning “formerly and no more,”
            connoting renunciation, affixed
            to such nouns as lover and Catholic;
            not likely to be placed before certain other
            nouns, like sister or “breaker of horse” or bicycle.
Eye (not to be confused with I), in the Middle Ages
            (as recounted by Andreas Capellanus) it was thought
            impossible to desire anything you’ve never seen, thus
            blind could not love. But there are other ways
            of paying attention. (See also: Attention)

Rebecca Lindenberg

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