Rae Armantrout

False Starts

  1

Because they were never infants,
helpless and speechless
in a world of words,
Adam and Eve are innocent.

End of story.
Start again.

  2

From the start,
we notice each another
and become attuned.

We synchronize our movements
as if we wanted to be one

creature which, of course,
we don’t.

This is joy.

Even the park trees
imitate us.

Rae Armantrout’s most recent books, Versed, Money Shot, Just Saying, Itself, Partly: New and Selected Poems, Entanglements (a chapbook selection of poems in conversation with physics), and Wobble were published by Wesleyan University Press. Wobble, a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award, was selected by Library Journal as one of the seven best poetry books of 2018. In 2010 her book Versed won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and The National Book Critics Circle Award. Her poems have appeared in many anthologies and journals including Poetry,Conjunctions, Lana Turner, The Nation, The New Yorker, Bomb, Harper’s, The Paris Review, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology, The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of Poetry Magazine, etc. She is recently retired from UC San Diego where she was professor of poetry and poetics. She lives in the Seattle area. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.

To view other poems published in this issue, 14:2, please visit Vallum’s website.

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