Failure

By A. E. Stallings b. 1968
You humble in. It's just as you remember:
The sallow walls, formica counter top,

The circular argument of time beneath
Fluorescent flickering—doubt, faith, and doubt.

She knows you've been to see the gilded girl
Who's always promising and walking out

With someone else. She knew that you'd return,
With nothing in your pockets but your fists.

Why do you resist? When will you learn
That this is what your weary dreams are of—

Succumbing to Her unconditional love?

Source: Poetry (April 2005).

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This poem originally appeared in the April 2005 issue of Poetry magazine

April 2005
 A. E. Stallings

Biography

A. E. (Alicia) Stallings studied classics in Athens, Georgia and has lived since 1999 in Athens, Greece. She has published three books of poetry, Archaic Smile (1999), which won the Richard Wilbur Award; Hapax (2000); and Olives (2012). Her new verse translation of Lucretius (in rhyming fourteeners!), The Nature of Things, is published by Penguin Classics. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and . . .

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