I lay down
the acidification
of the ocean
with a sly smile.

beats fiery impact
every time.


But the sweet yellow
shoulders of the road—

the up and up
into same blossom.

I'd like to hold these
in reserve.


“Protect your identity”
three times today
as if it knew something.

I may want to fly cheap,
cruise in luxury,
buy a walk-in-tub
and burial insurance.


I may want to lie still
and think about my choices.


Copyright @ 2014 by Rae Armantrout. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on May 27, 2014.

About this Poem

“Like most of my poems, ‘Lie’ has several sources: I read a very troubling book called The Sixth Extinction. I took note of the way people, including me, enjoy talking knowledgeably about how the world will end. I drove to Tucson and saw the desert flowering on either side of the road. And I glanced at my spam to see what people wanted to sell me these days.”

—Rae Armantrout