Two Poems

December 30, 2018   •   By Rae Armantrout

These poems appear in the latest issue of the LARB Print Quarterly Journal: No. 20  Childhood

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The critics say
we’ve finally begun to move
from solipsism
to futility.

It’s true
that standing still
is exhausting.


As a way out
of myself
(and into someone near me),

more gripping
than vampire stories,
more realistic
than falling in love,

I watch toddlers
form thoughts
and act on them.


What Follows

It’s a good thing

mind’s distributed.

“It wasn’t me,”

one says,


“I haven’t died.”


Each tract,

thus bracketed,


for what precedes,

what follows.


I accept defeat.

To accept defeat
is to regress,

to go back
where you came from.

This may be
the fountain of youth!

I claim it
for myself.



Rae Armantrout is a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet. Her book Wobble was a finalist for 2018 National Book Award.