Amanda Nadelberg

from Record

Of what had come

we’d already erred, so I lit the door

before the mystic who rattled on

toward what used to be morning

a weak argument for song. 

And on a Thursday the news made me wary

the clock waving between summer

and however now would be

a plant resurrected in the rain,

the singer a memory, the song

some ambivalent anthem. I’ll have

a go at it with you: there’s a dead moon in the hall,

flowers and bells, a scene for what wills

collecting imaginations in the twenty-first century.

To write another poem in the lung of invented scenes

we divest of love in its most open forms.

Counting the wind in the time before us, the spirit waves.

And of the instants I’ve understood it’s this

to know a way to put light back from behind your eyes

into the bowl singing a life /

dreamed from the cost of a year.

It cannot suffice to say I dressed myself in the fashion of my petite heart, a defense against men I need not

know again. I fasted belief in the field of synonyms under some alternate moon.

The twelfth measure offered a place for us in the occult,

a fault of language to hire steady hands and your

particular feet as the stewards of day

in which walking thought governed the effects

of speech. It worked until it won’t. Shadow blue basket

hop, I’ll tell you when you woke

o'er day in any company we keep,

a hide of paisley rounds until it besets

what proves to be simple happenstance

of sand that comes into the house

from shoes that have been to the beach.

There’s no other version of memory to roll under the vessel of day.

Call your parents. Invoke the dead. Bring your wilds to the river and run.

Conceive another life to absolve the one you’re in.

On my way to then, in an arbor of thrown logic / I constructed days

and set the order of original sums at the edge of a house lined with light and magic.

Amanda Nadelberg is the author of three books: Isa the Truck Named Isadore, Bright Brave

Phenomena, and Songs from a Mountain. She lives in Oakland.