Sonoran Still In Absentia
by Mark Underwood

The not corporeal photo
offers no partisan biohistory,
no private & public criss-cross of act& belief
nor shapes from her shadow world.

She moves confidently there
not unlike Coccidioides immits
once investigated
now imitated with impunity.

Whereas the surveyor's eye hesitates.
Daughter, wife, mother, biologist, professor
each has its apologetic caption
of hypotheses untested

Of muted blue blouse, folded black slacks,
jewelry drawers & shoe racks,
sampled raiment at rest
of what she sized & prized

Of living-room Clemente, Viennese intermezzi,
of Chopin brandished with Lisztean panache,
of Beethoven symphonies rendered
by four hands undissected

Of everything style could not subordinate,
memento & monumentia,
Sonoran night renderings
of the lesser-known

Of unmailed postcards from Malta & Malibu,
bookmark on page one ninety-five,
cruise reservations for June,
tennis Monday noon

On survivors' canvas
suddenly sharp outlines
of unspanned unexplicated
are circumstance in free fall.

She spreads sporelike in the dust
yet no less accomplished
than the dissenting light of hosts
who bring her to mind

with organ-stop registrations
of her means & method,
Illuminations annunciated
from photographic frame.

for Evelyn
17 February 2001