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The Other Side of Now by Lauren Camp

This poem was originally published in the Journal of the Plague Years.

Will we abolish the police department.
It’s hard to resolve.
The world clings to the takeover
of flyover states
with financial incentives.
Rude laws are laid down
with terrible choices.
For sale signs go up.
People are somehow cross-hatched.
Others vanish.
Banners billboards auctions.
Doctors nuance the science and what we see
is erosion. We see gullies
of breathing. Emergency rooms
where they may not be people.
I try to remember the reality
could be the city
or the roses uncut in a nearby morning.
We have talked about gray areas from every region:
crime against, crime by,
sirens and wild cards and histories.
She says damn level best
and it is Sunday. She says
she still doesn’t know how to vote.
It takes discipline to find hope
among all these doorknobs, this gnawing.
To avenge such constant within
I will drive toward the woods.
Toward whatever is under me.
The weather is still singing
its succinct wisdom.
How easy it is to watch sun please
the ground. I want to live only
in that way it divides the trench
from the darkness.

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