Here I Go

Rae Armantrout

1

“Here I go again”
was a rock anthem once,
crowds on their feet
mouthing the words.

2

There’s no way to explain
how faultlessly I want to write
about how pointless all this is.

Nothing I can point to, but
the gesture itself,
the way it comes to seem
anachronistic, spectral—

like this ongoing attempt
to catalog the world
by latching each thing
to the last
memory it calls up.

Nothing recalls
the new cat-6
haboob.

3

But I’m hard to discourage.

When a branch lays out five—
like an old card trick—
identical white orchids,

three-petalled light sails spread,

ready to go—each with a small
bat face in the middle

Rae Armantrout is the current judge of the Yale Younger Poets Award. She is the author of Finalists; Conjure, a finalist for the Pen/Voelker Award; and Wobble, a finalist for the National Book Award, among other works.
Originally published:
March 1, 2022

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