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Lauren Camp in The Las Angeles Review

OPEN HEART BY LAUREN CAMP


His scar made him
unlike the men who took me
to begging, to bowling
alleys on motorcycles, who threw off
their boots to the corners.
He had no last excuses.
Our desert habitat juggled
a thicket of cotton and spread
flat or fluttered. We’d larked
out of the suburbs and no longer
stored rabbits in wire cages, but buried
their bones when a dull ruin
settled inside them. Aren’t we all just
containers? He loved to the bruise
at my center. He insisted on peeling
the vegetables. Years and how many
rooms spread to our angers
or the intimacy of each heaven
to heaven. But it’s the slash
impressed at his ribcage, the span
of sawn truth, that layer
of sternum sutured
with a needle. Not a mess:
a salvation. With his whole heart
he is permanently fixed.
How we each need a reference line.
How his body knows to hold it. I finger
the seam and the worn flesh
over that replaced valve
with its clock. End to end music.
Submit to its never ceasing.

 

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