“Anniversary Declaration,” by Amanda Moore


Anniversary Declaration

That there is a bed
the same shape as a calendar square—
each day begins and ends in it,
marks on a page.

That the bed
is the shape of windowpane, too,
passthrough and portal: transparent
and without privacy.

That the bed is a small box
and we a pair of earrings, tarnished
but bejeweled: cottoned together,
neither touching nor tangled.

That the bed is a field of flower
and grain, beauty which is
sustenance: romp and frolic
and play and seed.

That the bed is a field
is a scrimmage is a boundary:
two teams, opposition
and for someone to win, the other—


First published in The Cortland Review, Issue 83, 2019.


Listen to the author reading her poem here.


Contributing editor Amanda Moore’s poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies including Zyzzyva, Cream City Review, Tahoma Literary Review, and Best New Poets, and she is the recipient of writing awards from The Writing Salon, Brush Creek Arts Foundation, and The Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts. She received her MFA from Cornell University, where she served as Managing Editor for EPOCH magazine and was a lecturer in the John S. Knight Writing Institute. Currently a 2019 Fellow at The Writers Grotto, Amanda is a high school teacher and Marin Poetry Center board member. She lives by the beach in the Outer Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco with her husband and daughter.


Poet’s Note

Some say that with age comes clarity, though I deliciously find the opposite to be true. Whereas I once felt I saw the world and the ways I should and could move through it very clearly, I now see so many possibilities and perspectives. It feels wonderful to be open and fluid, able to contemplate and shift, but I do sometimes miss the didactic ability to make declarations, to plant my flag in the soil and hold fast to a singular idea. This poem comes from wanting to play with that idea of declaration—how I might be able to declare multiplicity, to consider many truths at once. At the same time, I wanted to experiment with association, elevating the daily bed from which I emerge each day, a bed I have shared with my husband for more than twenty years, to metaphor. I enjoyed playing with the shape of the bed as its connection to various images in order to find resonance, and there are many stanzas that didn’t make it into the final draft, as exciting as they were to write. I also had fun subverting the idea of an “Anniversary Declaration,” which one might assume will be momentous and romantic, by addressing the dailiness and occasional strife that can accompany a long marriage, no matter how happy it is.

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