Sad, fat boy in pirate hat. Long, old, dented, copper-colored Ford. How many traits must a thing have in order to be singular? (Echo persuades us everything we say has been said at least once before.) Two plump, bald men in gray tee-shirts and tan shorts are walking a small bulldog – followed by the eyes of an invisible third person. The Trinity was born from what we know of the bitter symbiosis of couples. Can we reduce echo’s sadness by synchronizing our speeches? Is it the beginning or end of real love when we pity a person because, in him, we see ourselves?
First published in Van Gogh's Ear. Copyright © 2004 by Rae Armantrout. Forthcoming in Next Life (Wesleyan, 2007). Reprinted with permission of the author.