Rae Armantrout

“Lake-washed chinos,”
the ad said, flashing quickly
across the screen.

She didn’t wonder
what lake they were washed in
or who did the washing. Clearly
no one had washed anything.
She did wonder why someone would think
that someone would think that
“lake-washing” was desirable.
Was it about the remote spot
the words made her see?

She wrote this down
because she recognized it
as a thought—the kind she liked.
Or used to like. One with depth,
with reverb.

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


Cancel Culture and Other Myths

Anti-fandom as heartbreak
Kathryn Lofton

Ode to Babel

The ecstasy of Michael K. Williams
Roger Reeves

A Moral Education

In praise of filth
Garth Greenwell

You Might Also Like

Here I Go

Rae Armantrout

Race Point

Cynthia Zarin

Guest House

John Jeremiah Sullivan


New perspectives, enduring writing. Join a conversation 200 years in the making. Subscribe to our print journal and receive four beautiful issues per year.