Rae Armantrout, as seen in Poetry (May 2012)



Tense and tenuous
grow from the same root

as does tender
in its several guises:

the sour grass flower;
the yellow moth.


I would not confuse
the bogus
with the spurious.

The bogus
is a sore thumb

while the spurious
pours forth

as fish and circuses.


What flickers
with some delicacy

of feeling,

some hesitancy ––
and then persists.


What circles. What darts



is like the inside
biting you.

“Like” is like


These green cherry tomatoes;
their false pregnancies,

staked. Lustrous.

“That’s all I meant.”

All I meant by

The Thinning


These guys try to make us
match moods to products

the way once,
under love’s spell,

we attached meaning
to sound,

attached sounds to objects.

The old magic won’t work now,

but it’s nice
to be reminded of it.


She’s a tease,
tears her skirts off

one by one.

Drops her petals
as if she could always
make more.

It’s tiresome.

We know
what she looks like

On a cold night,
we can see forever.


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