Anything cancels
everything out.
If each point
is a singularity,
thrusting all else
aside for good,
“good” takes the form
of a throng
of empty chairs.
Or  it’s ants
swarming a bone.
I’m afraid
I don’t love
my mother
who’s dead
though I once –
what does “once” mean? –
did love her .
So who’ll meet me over yonder?
I don’t recognize the place names.
Or I do, but they come
from televised wars.
First published in Shiny, issue 13. Copyright © Rae Armantrout. Forthcoming in Next Life (Wesleyan, 2007). Reprinted with permission of the author.

Poems by This Author

A Conceit by Rae Armantrout
Local anchors list the ways
Chirality by Rae Armantrout
If I didn't need
Custom by Rae Armantrout
We maintain a critical distance
Exact by Rae Armantrout
Quick, before you die
Scumble by Rae Armantrout
What if I were turned on by seemingly innocent words
Thing by Rae Armantrout
We love our cat
Two, Three by Rae Armantrout
Sad, fat boy in pirate hat
Unbidden by Rae Armantrout
The ghosts swarm
Upper World by Rae Armantrout
If sadness