November 1999

Annie Finch

Annie Finch Annie Finch is the author of the book of poems Eve (Story Line Press, 1997) and the forthcoming narrative poem Marie Moving. She is also editor of A Formal Feeling Comes: Poems in Form by Contemporary Women (Story Line, 1994) and An Exaltation of Forms: Contemporary Poets Celebrate the Diversity of Their Art (Michigan, forthcoming). Her 1993 book on poetics, The Ghost of Meter, will be reissued in paperback by University of Michigan Press this year.

Meeting the Cave    Click to hear in real audio

Here no ledge can slice footholds,
no new mineral drip,
no soundbeam sink or angle,
no change of quiet drop

out through the circling ceiling
where acid water spilled
to hollow out its chamber
into this cold dry well.

With my dark eyes open,
I search into the dark
for a reassurance
to soothe me like a look—

a reassuring darkness
only dark will reassure,
a night to my humanness
the unparticled will pour,

the inhospitable, solid,
unbreakable deep kiss,
the womb to throw me outward
to a circumference,

the dark that will not need me
to see its ancient light,
its opposite, neglecting
behind the night's heart light,

when my feet will leave the cave
to birth dark at a crawl
through hundreds of limestone miles
and feed the cracks of the world.



Annie Finch: Poetry
Copyright 1999 The Cortland Review Issue NineThe Cortland Review