L’Avventura

Poetry by Erin Lyndal Martin
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I watched the movie twice,
hoping for something more to happen.
It was, after all, honored for its
“new movie language and the beauty
of its images.” It was the patterns
on the girls’ dresses that caught my eye—
things become so different in black and white.
There’s this long stretch in the film
where nothing happens, and yet the film remains.
It’s a lot like watching a curtain open and close
over an opulent production, the audience
forever teetering on the verge of applause.
There’s barely a gasp on either side of the screen
when Anna goes missing; sometimes
the movie watches you. She stays gone
a day, two days, three, an hour, forever,
whatever. How we learn, instead,
to watch for the slightest motion:
a curtain opens and closes, a kiss deepens,
gingham on a barstool, glasses on a face.
Two people on a hill, two people by the water.
Wind in blonde hair. Seize onto these things.
They are the tiny epics you must grow to love.
One must never wish to fall into melodramataic undertones.
Now you’re ready. Read this slowly. Let the camera
take you there. After the prostitute picks up
the money with her stocking-feet, after Claudia
runs outside, you must keep watching.
Claudia watches trees whose fronds tangle
like so much hair. Sandro comes through
the arch, framed between a rough tree
and the stone plaque of a palace.
We don’t yet know if he is sorry.
There is no wind when Claudia cries.
Sandro walks on, sits down.
He is still wearing a suit. He sits.
Claudia moves closer to him. The shimmer
of a tear on his face, the lowering of his head.
Her face suddenly stoic. She sighs,
her shoulders raising and lowering. She places her hand
on the bench, on his back, her head lilting
just slightly. Her hand on the back of his neck,
his head, his hair.

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About the Author

Erin Lyndal Martin is a poet, fiction writer, and music journalist. Her work has recently appeared in Typo, H_NGM_N, and VenusZine.com.

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