Anomia: Fragments Toward a Grammar of Endings

An excerpt.

Christmas, 1997 / No. 1

On a mountain, I thought. Where love would have to be rarefied, precarious. Rocks, uncertain as promises, solid as disbelief. A stream, cold, honest, winding down toward level earth; the way the mountain shoulders this inevitability, the insistence of gravity. How my body sinks into you like trust. Air thin as conviction. Dawn, earlier on one side of the mountain, the light, the shadows always uneven. Lichen, invasive like doubt, moss deep as desire.

:the way your body caved into mine, how you denied this avalanche, refuted the inconstancy of the escarpment. How you thought solidity was a virtue:

How love might be in this place. Solitary as a tree, slow and certain as moss. Unobtrusive as light. Paths clear as grammar, routes laid out like some familiar language. Verbs sure-footed, nouns irrelevant as pebbles. Adjectives and adverbs thinned out with the oxygen, there is breath only for the certitude of action. Description, superfluous. How we would breathe, speak, so slowly and deeply in this place. A piece of rock, unencumbered by ambiguity; I will seal it into an envelope, this will be my letter to you.

Alana Wilcox lives in Seaton Village. She is the editor of Coach House Books. Her first novel, A Grammar of Endings, was released in 2000 by Mercury. Last updated Christmas, 2006.