The end of the year or the eyelash
of another is a whirlpoint
to our whole persistent
erasure. In today’s version,
cold swarms plausible
places, which means
my fleece-rimmed self stays
in the very least of longer. Time is
a heavy container and the future
before, before, before.
Though I want more
than epithets and credible peaks,
this afternoon we practice
yelling in long
rocks. We sound it out
while the sun slaps bright, asking
a strictest trust. No one nearby
but sirens. Thick obsession
seems to be the only room
we’ve ever occupied. So I climb
a hill to look long enough
at circles of useful
ravens, blackly identical
in their desires. Brooding season
in a year of meltwater.
The clouds profess their silvered
ripples and a fluttering oath
of sunset dedicates
to rose. I shuttle past precipice. And see—
how we can make a pause
and hunker into it.
I don’t know how I built this
need. Where to hold it.
I cannot explain why the wind inhabits
my body, and I would like
to see more gold leaf. I would like everyone
to see it. Last night we watched another movie
in which love is a threshold and the city
around it, deep snow.
What I mean is, I’m lucky.
I post magnets on my fridge. Small print
stuck on a syntonic grocery list:
tin foil, cauliflower, salsa, a whole journey
of feeding my family. Those clutching
reminders with devotional practice.
Mornings my husband grinds the coffee
with pro-grade earmuffs on.
He wears a blue shirt again.
Another day dressing in distance.
He watches me linger beside the sayings.
Something to use between the world and my will.
What do we know of contentment?
My husband is exhausted by the unavailable
trouble I crave. My magnets tell me to expect nothing,
to never stop wanting. They repeat every day.
After this, he sorts the laundry:
darks, lights, blues. These are the rooms of our house.
Lauren Camp is the Poet Laureate of New Mexico and author of five books, most recently Took House (Tupelo Press). Honors include the Dorset Prize and finalist citations for the Arab American Book Award and Housatonic Book Award. Her poems have appeared in Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, The Common and Beloit Poetry Journal, and her work has been translated into Mandarin, Turkish, Spanish, and Arabic. www.laurencamp.com.