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Two Poems

Cresting the fence, each leaf
sharply particular, edgy, nearly
identical to its kin.


String of periods.

String of period
living rooms, lights
coming on in them.


One’s coordinates

or the coordinates
one is?


To be found


How many billion
suns blazing
and the universe
still dark



Scattered against dark conifers,
the seared gold trees
I take for signal fires.

You too.

What do you think
they’re saying?


In fiction, time
runs both ways

and the past is legible,



How are beauty
and meaning

Beauty seduces meaning.
Meaning stalks beauty.

Beauty breaks down
into meaning.

Meaning breaks down
into dreams.

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 was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award. 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 ConjunctionsPoetry, 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 lives in the Seattle area.