Rae Armantrout
The Horizon

Originally, plants and animals

turned into people.


And people could turn

into animals or plants

when pressed, so

there were always more of them.


As you’ve heard, a European girl

became a tree when hounded

by the god of poetry.


And in the north, a fox

slipped into the tent

of a man she loved.

When he came back to find

a strange woman cleaning up,

he complained

about her musky smell.

She threw on her fox pelt, left

and has not been seen since.


The similes we see everywhere today

are faint echoes

of such transformations.


Still, the horizon will change

into a mirage

again and again.



Found In Volume 52, No. 03
Read Issue
  • rae armantrout
Rae Armantrout
About the Author

Rae Armantrout's 2018 book, Wobble, was a finalist for the National Book Award that year. Her other books with Wesleyan include Partly: New and Selected Poems, Just Saying, Money Shot and Versed. In 2010 Versed won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and The National Book Critics Circle Award. Retired from UC San Diego where she was professor of poetry and poetics, she is the current judge of the Yale Younger Poets Prize.