Lauren Camp


Out of one day they count
ten hours or two days or whatever is longest
until the medicine is delivered

until the bed folds up
until they’ve canceled and punctuated
goodbye and kept saying in sleep

we’re capable of this sort of tearing
of ruin of the cost of the body its pity
of the ropes of our previous lives

no one is talkative after the frothed
orange beverage is sucked

through the bendable straw

after Mozart’s bassoon concerto
continues to adagio and the news

of Moore’s tornado after the cancer beast

has napped and meanwhile knitted
more cells and the house quieted

after the laundry and other long moments

after the scope after probe of her abdomen
after a weakening

after the sheets have been cleaned

and they smoothed them after
sleeper’s flare after night thoughts drift
to the small motion of sun on a palm

in the thickness of this
a tree might drop a petal

after one point and another
after the terrible paragraph of leaving
of losing then next year only seeds


Now I’m nude on a queen’s bed, embroidering stitches
         against hollows, then decorating stars

with lustered fingers. I take off my worry.
         Silence etches the neighboring dunes, washes up

to the cottage, wedges doors open.
         Because light pales to bone,

I wonder if I’ve actually awoken.
         A week’s worth of upcoming echoes

in a room with simple carpets and stairs
         that keep repeating.

Everything will be restored. No more longing
         on white keys with a red carriage return.

No more updraft to signature, no more ending
         a phone call with multiple sign-offs.

When he arrives, there will be no first and next.
         No sort of knowing but the mouth

entangling gullies of veins. Outside, the waves
         always licking and wrecking the ocean.


Lauren Camp is the author of two volumes of poetry, most recently The Dailiness (Edwin E. Smith, 2013), winner of the National Federation of Press Women 2014 Poetry Book Prize and a World Literature Today “Editor’s Pick.” Her third book, One Hundred Hungers, was selected by David Wojahn for the Dorset Prize, and is forthcoming from Tupelo Press. Her poems have appeared in Brilliant Corners, Beloit Poetry Journal, Linebreak, Nimrod, J Journal, and elsewhere. She hosts “Audio Saucepan,” a global music/poetry program on Santa Fe Public Radio.