Photo credits, clockwise from upper left: Time Magazine, Wikipedia, CBC, The Boston Globe
by Lauren Camp
This morning before dawn unsleeved to dense
light, my back was a curve. The brutal wracked self. I plotted
each move. I am not putting this right.
My back could not bother to straighten.
This has happened before. I tilted to the floor in a huge husk
of time. Tilted the whole risky instinct of my body.
The other night, a scientist friend explained the second fundamental
law of calculus—mean value and infinite
difference. We were continuous at the table, eating. What if everyone
of hyphenated identity pulls out their sweaters and leaves? I am paralyzed
at the marrow of tragedy, our nation unable to stretch
more than skin deep. I stopped wearing my Star
of David years ago even in low light.
I didn’t want that sweet spot on my breastbone
to clasp the wrong notice. I can’t rise to superior and inferior facets
of the national situation. I watch videos, let the news
run over me. Lying on the couch, where the sun is relentless
at the side of the room, I am burned by a clip of a female
on a subway fixing odious phrases about deportation for a crowd
of coalescing seconds at an Arab woman.
The woman held steady her phone. If certain is an action,
she stood up straight, raising
her body to true. I could deceive myself
that the flare has edged off (since I swallowed a warm palm
of pills), but in truth I am churning. Must unclutch
grief. The human spine wends 33 bones. The country’s spine
has flamed to red. There are all sorts of fractures
on Facebook: people fleshed to tightened nerve. No end
to low points by police. Down again in the carpet, I stretch, breathing out
hard when I rise on my elbows. I don’t come up far.
My acupuncturist says sluggish blood causes the mass
of my problems. The vote ran deeper in the country’s center. I was attached
then to myself and small groups like me. I couldn’t move
to why heat was present at the axis.
I don’t know how long to press before I rise up.
All of the country seems to be against
all of the country. A core in sudden collapse.
My Turkish friend sent an email
a while ago in his vertiginous English: “I hope you’re doing well
in health and cherishment since our last contact.”
Words are so temporary. I am convinced of less
structure than frame. Black planes against white. Consequence
unfolds while we forget
to bend. We are all
within each other. We are the only people
we can’t stand anymore. Now every version of shadow
streams over the couch. The robins fumble outside
at the feeder and disperse to the branches. Leaves untie
from the cottonwood and drop without a plan.
More people grab a sign and spray paint their hatred.
Cartilage, griefs, heart. What surrounds what?
Example, example, example: I am getting up.
At the end waits the moonlight, integral, round.
I am putting this right.
First published in Asymptote