An open access publication of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences
Spring 2009

From Speaking In The Fall

Arda Collins
View PDF

Arda Collins is a Ph.D. candidate in the poetry program at the University of Denver. She holds an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she was a Glenn Schaeffer Fellow. Her poems have been published in The New YorkerA Public SpaceThe American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. Her collection of poems It Is Daylight won the 2008 Yale Series of Younger Poets Award, and is forthcoming from Yale University Press. She is among the recipients of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences's Poetry Prize.

From Speaking In The Fall

© 2009 by Arda Collins

Was that the river?
No, it wasn’t the river, oh, it was the sink.

We don’t need a known reason, I say,
we can have our own ones;
we don’t even have to know what they are;
they’re from before all this,
they’re from before everything,
from when the universe was a dark and cold place with nothing in it.
I feel that there is no telephone.
I see myself
as a cat who has learned how to imitate talking on the phone
through observation,
has learned how to pick up the receiver with its paw
and turns to look at the viewer
as though in mid-sentence; or maybe as a person
who has never seen a phone, and says blah blah blah
to the dial tone. The silence that once existed
in the dark cold universe: translated, the empty sound
is a place–the inside of the phone. Infinity,
I say, there it is.
This is where we all go to
when we touch each other;
this is what supernatural is.
I feel I can break
away everything. Today dark arrives
at a new hour.
Welcome, hour,
thank you
for transparenting yourself.
I will go quietly
into another room
into quietry
for you;
it’ll just be us.