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Lauren Camp

Whatever Minus I was Getting Used To

Of course I had reason to come here.

Home had its synonyms of burial.

I was either in cold or in footprint.

These magnified postures help me recall

what it is to be scent-strung in a flirtation of green.

All winter, you were the clockmaker, you were whittling

chair edges and wine bowls as the land opened its seams.

The winds grabbed a hunk of our bed

and gradually spread into long vowels. We fit together,

fended away. Across our three acres, inert

sooty ravens, plucked light.

I got into focus by hauling ecology:

sand, rock, race, grief, dirt. Any weight.

When not that, all I could do was measure

value by fossil, always recruiting a storm.

Remind me to tell you how seeing the first half-moon

glisten over fat mosses when I was exhausted

was such necessary welcome. And the deliberate permission

for raspberries in their ripe excitable segments.

We were walking, five of us, up in the hills.

One told us woodpeckers wrap their tongues

around their brains when they bang on trees.

It was beautiful—innocent and shining,

the slight creek keeping us company. 

And we all started imagining… what did we want?

I said, the truest reason, the sun to still love me.

LCamp_PhotoByBobGodwin - Lauren Camp.jpg



Lauren Camp is the author of five books, most recently Took House (Tupelo Press), winner of the American Fiction Award in Poetry. Other honors include the Dorset Prize and finalist citations for the Arab American Book Award and New Mexico-Arizona Book Award. Her work has appeared in Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, and The Los Angeles Review, and has been translated into Mandarin, Turkish, Spanish, Serbian, and Arabic.

Bear Review


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