Orpheus

            Anna Newman

 

Toothless, I am left alive and inarticulate, a smiling pit: Hello! Here I am. I would pay what it takes to forget if I knew what was required. Forgive me for memory’s triage, for the un-homemaking of myself. Experience forms a crust around reality. In the memory of that night I clap and wait for whatever lurks to clap back, like a movie where something’s always on the other end of silence. There was a moment I realized I was trapped. There was a moment where what happened didn’t hurt. Outside, the machinery of sunset ground up the day, leaving clouds tidy and contained. When I left myself behind, I did it with surgical precision. Experience enfolds tightly, like a fitted sheet. It does what it takes to keep you from looking back. 

Anna Newman holds an M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Maryland. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Best New Poets, Rattle, Poetry Northwest, [PANK], and elsewhere. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.