Poetry Month: A Story Begins (Equi)

A Story Begins

The same as other stories, but we follow along in case something different might happen.

Just on different thing. It leads us to a ledge and pushes us over.

Every story has a climax in a way life doesn’t.

It puts us back where it found us. It opens our eyes which weren’t closed, but felt that way because what we saw was happening inside the story.

We are the excess of the story—that which it cannot contain.

Washed ashore.

What was the story about?

I can’t remember. A dwindling, dim-witted tribe.

Every month when the moon was full, they’d sacrifice another virgin, but could never figure out why the crops still wouldn’t grow.

—Elaine Equi, from New American Writing, in The Best American Poetry 2012


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