A ship in the bay. Stomped grass, all bluff
against salt-moaned land. The delicate line true
to a faltering, a history. Beneath sun-clawed clouds, I kneel
to read the lugging claim of sand: tithing.
The line never spills its significant ways, never lies
lazy. A woman’s tilt of the head, an eye
shy to a stranger, a sudden
matter underscored to return. Bulkheads, plankton, somewhere
five cards laid to a table, an entire life. Just walking. A stoop. Murmur,
lost answer, messy stakes, alternate current: a furrow, a positive shadow, an increase
in each rind of wind. A layer of silt, vapored. In town, tombstones
bend without companion, honed to ends. What isn’t
fluid? My perfect story
in roseate terns: all the rumor of earth as personal
therapy: the crumble, flutters, and off at a distance
a wide bone of water. Later, the night
crystallizes. Later, craggy
cedars blown forth, absolute. An algorithm to ledger, to frame
an adhesion. And above—
strokes of stars as allowances. A long narrow, a roam
a complexity. Do I know
what it laces, what it lacks? Yes, but I look.
Lauren Camp is the author of four collections. Her poems have appeared in Academy of American Poets’Poem-a-Day, Boston Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, New England Review, Diode, and elsewhere. Her honors include the Dorset Prize and the Anna Davidson Rosenberg Award, finalist citations for the Arab American Book Award, the Housatonic Book Award, and the Auburn Witness Poetry Prize, and a Black Earth Institute fellowship.
She lives and teaches in New Mexico. www.laurencamp.com