Love, An Index

In April 2009, poet Craig Arnold went missing while hiking along an active volcano in Japan, and was never found. It appeared later that he suffered a fatal fall from a high cliff. In Love, an Index, Rebecca Lindenberg, Arnold's then-girlfriend, takes on the story of their relationship in her first collection of poems. The book approaches Lindenberg's connection with Arnold from various perspectives, by, as Jane Hirshfield says, "facing the irreversible fully"; the poems document, honor, and enact love through litanies, catalogues, fragments, and the long poem that anchors the book—an alphabetical index of the poets' relationship. From, "O"

OMAHA, where we'd go to the Antiquarium for old books,
		the Zen Center for poetry slams, and to that one
		Persian restaurant, the chicken stewed in pomegranate-
		walnut sauce, conjuring what it might be like
		to sleep under a heavy rug in a desert palace in wintertime.
	OVER, when I answered the phone
		that May morning and the man from the search team
		said, "It’s over."
	OVER, as in turn over, start over, get over. To get
		to the other side of the same story.

Terrance Hayes notes that Lindenberg's poems "re-cover, reclaim, and remake the elegy form, [giving] it a soundtrack that is both blue and celebratory and careening at the slant of love."

This book review originally appeared in American Poets.