Your heart like a cathedral/covers us in this instant, like the/ sky/and your song, loud and magnificent, and your volcanic/ tenderness, /fills to the roof like a burning statue.
broken teeth. lost retainers. crumpled letters written to counselors
and discarded for illegible handwriting. phone lists of
abortion clinics. deflated valentine’s day balloons with
trampled white ribbon. sales ads on bassinette sets.
In her flesh for half a century, an unhinged sapphire unmarrying.
In honor of what would be Lucie Brock-Broido’s 63rd birthday, we revisit her poem “Inevitably, She Declined,” from our Archives.
Eric J. Sundquist’s essay appeared in MQR’s Fall 2007 issue. Featured Image: Nathaniel Donnett, “Demarcation; The Marked Location of Death, Life, and A Dream Deferred,” 2018, Plastic, gold leaf, books (“King’s Dream” by Eric J. Sundquist), shoestrings, 77″ x 98″ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ On the evening of
The after-effect of the force of the archive is a kind of ghosting: it hints too uncannily at history reified, at history returned to the present. The voice is physically indexed, it leaves a residue in a way it simply can’t in the ordination of the library. Nowhere can one feel this more than in the archives of poetry read aloud, that most ephemeral event.