Published on Academy of American Poets (

The Place Where in the End / We Find Our Happiness

The history of revolutions is the history of vague ideas,
Shrugging shoulders, not shrugging shoulders,
Standing around, acting without thinking,
Acting with thinking, being penned or penning,

Being a woman or a girl standing around,
A woman or a girl with some flour in her pocket
    for tossing up a cloud of flour
           to obscure the martial men's sight.

That white cloud of whatever
Among the moving and unmoving bodies
Is that history-like unhistory
        of the ahistorical average,
That lovely inexact and provisional something—
                          weaponized or never. 

How totally under-theorized is breathing,
Walking and not walking,
Wanting to have a good time or just having it,
Like everybody is gunning toward Eden 
      and nobody is in school with their bodies anymore.

The history of revolutions is a history of the orthodox
     weeping over their faltering

Any precise thing—dumb these days:
The very idea imprinting nothing
        on the air between the general buildings.

No human space—a printer's paper.
Nothing exact—impressed.


Copyright © 2011 by Anne Boyer. Used with permission of the author.


Anne Boyer

Anne Boyer is the author of Garments Against Women (Ahsahta Press, 2015), winner of the 2016 Community of Literary Magazines and Presses Firecracker Award.

Date Published: 2011-11-23

Source URL: