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“Disappear” by Lauren Camp


By Lauren Camp

Back then, we each had the privilege of busy
regret and before that, a question about flights or where
we’d eat dinner, what time. Nothing of virus, only best
butter and innumerable unisons.
Desire. Each task was a choice and we strew it
with going. What used to happen was us, facing
each other, rushing together
—like coats scrunched to a rack.
Before that, I remember how short our worry; we’d go
out and come back, spiraling, fretting
our wants from the multiple grocery stores,
buying oil and chickens, choosing our fermentations.
What might stillness mean for the earth
after all this time we’ve squalled to tight public spaces, people
scraping the climate with tender obsessions?
Now every motion is superfluous. The truth is a droplet
we sorrow away from, no longer at the gym or in
post office lines. Rail tracks and parking lots.
Not endless in our sequence
of acceleration. Now all we master is news
from the juniper trees. The days count minutes at home
and the furthest point we’re willing to go is
to praise a wide strobe of birds.
Not even the neighbor’s. But what people
call doldrums are not. Right there, a globe
of cactus and the fluttering bees
curl up into the knuckle of blossoms to snack.