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POEMS YROMfall/Amy Newman To divide naturaUy. Used with info: The specimensfell into three categories. Fallen already, the infallible world and its memory replaced by the fulcrum of words, the accumulation of language. Into all this naming, one thinks only of the remarkable, yet in the wake of it, a kind of interior loveliness: what would one say? Cuneiform gathered, white as day. They had broken the surface of the water. Followed by their repeated images. Words to words collected in word books, in alphabetical order to make one-dimensional, and linguate/literate, the threedimensional world. As if letters shaped with curves and cuts can love up the geometry as it measures in its sweet little mesh of ink and pulp the arc of any flyer, the distance that, on any given evening, is so touching we can barely find the sound to catch it. So they saved their letters, words, pretty as a box in a series of books: Abecedarium. Aevary. Catholican. Dictionary. Manipulus. But the homesickness remains. When the planet looks away across the fields, the dark lining of the day in repose. I wish I could teU you. Like the dictionaries, the earth is veü of the primary world. There was the lush place, immaculate as lust. Its disappearance burned into language. 50 · The Missouri Review —fall in with. To come to an agreement. Clean sheets, fresh medicine, and glittering brown bottles, fuU with liquid drugs. Cutting us adrift, where privacies occur, the bleak waves' measure, and doctors, whose ornate masculine cartographies would navigate my mother's darkening seas. The nurses in the halls were starchy skiffs, like paper boats. It unpolished us, took down the house eave by eave, splintering the doorways, through which the world began. The current draws us toward coUision: to know the teenaged drift of losing her, our long, white afternoons, dismantling, and she: the far-flung, worthy shore. Last night, drowsy at the growing vegetation: the heathy vines that overwhelm the porch. Black Walnut, its exquisite earthliness, and I look up. These shapes our longings take. Now daylight troubles me, it asks me to remember the way it was before: her several years of health. Outside, the seashell-tinted birds, like flares, erupting at sweet interval, attempt interpretations, misinterpret. The second world is such a beauty with its many gifts and losses. It's something. It goes on. Amy Newman The Missouri Review · 51 —fall for. Informal. 1. to become infatuated with; fall suddenly in love with. 2. to be tricked or deceived by; be taken in by. At first not fraU because she was younger. At first comprised of flesh and thought, brim as a basket of nectarines and the lovely things of girldom, pearled, strong, against the deciduous seasons, their losings of leaves, their going away, a chastening, their slow descent, baptizing the ground on which the solid flesh walks out, conflicted: satisfied, yearning. Against the long stem of flawlessness, they married, and little girls threw petals, whites and reds fluttering beneath the eye, saUing, cadence like the inside of a woman, where everything is secret, where everything returns, her envelope, her awning, the fertile, furtive clock of her, inner pinks cloistered, and full of prayer, oh how the body wants to be. Against the illusion of the grassy world, how it curves when you drive on it, promising, untying the unseeable, the unbeUevable, as it emerges: who knew? The earth slopes down. Within the yes of her she is a lake, ruddle of animal, holographic, the yes of her dwindling under her canopy of skin. Inspired, the husband answers, dressed only in his coat of wants, his teenage yes, the customary planet of the body's hard attention, his love for her. And parting her legs out of homesickness, the blind eclipse of them, against the sky's departure. The many interpretations, ciphering. Not noticing, because not looking? or Not noticing, because not there yet: the inviolate, indelible tattoo of cancer. It undulates, 52 · The Missouri Review Amy Newman displays itself in fracture, its geometric love of digging in like a bad luck, a tracing of the Fall. The tragic earth slopes down, and I express a wish...


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