21 July 2006

Rae Armantrout

[from Rae Armantrout's The Pretext, 2001]

The Past

as a drum
or tight as a drum? Quick!

Is recognition

She never thought
when she was waiting tables
that there would be null sets.

People come first, but
categories outlast them.

She said, “If you’re gonna hire
the dummies, I quit!”

She thinks
this may be one
of those waitresses here.

Someone has probably mixed up
recognition with hatred.

Is she holding
a grudge,
a séance
or a piece of bread

which she won’t eat because
has taken a bite of it?

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