“Dress Up” by Rae Armantrout


To be “dressed”

is to emit

“virtual particles.”

The spirit of “renormalization” is that

an electron

all by itself

can have infinite

mass and charge,

but, when it’s “dressed”…


A toddler stares at us

till we look up.

“Flirtatious,” we call it.

She waits

until we get the joke

about being here,

being there.



Photo by Rosanne Olson

Rae Armantrout’s recent books are Money Shot and Versed, both from Wesleyan University Press. Versed won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. A new collection, Just Saying, is forthcoming from Wesleyan in Feb. 2013. Armantrout teaches writing at UC San Diego.

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