by Lauren Camp

When summer releases its hold, this isn’t my place
to hunker with a knife and cards

and watch day delay starting. Unstable light
will lug its sweetest opinions quick

toward a finish, then I’d be pinched to spend months in the brackish
captivity. A long vanishing vision

of each boat’s braided wake. My intrepid gaze is too soft-
spoken to ceaseless consequence and release

the last floral sprig and berry of the almanac. Want not
to tread winter harrow: frozen and surging

dark. I’d be a fist. But these mornings here, all the green
spruce and dawn with its petals. Lapping waves

and an eagle making his body a hover, a sail. This majestic routine
slakes me. Moist air, salt nectar, the far end

unspooling. I’ve torn to longing to endlessly bend
beside water, but I am owed to the nimble desert sun

that warms what it chases. From my home, the steady repeat
of long grasses. The complete mouth

of the sky. Even away, I will hear the coast untied
as the peninsula pulls up whales from a water

careening, then back to its wallow—the sound intent
even brimming inside me.

LAUREN CAMP is the author of five books, most recently Took House (Tupelo Press, 2020), which Publishers Weekly calls a “stirring, original collection.” Her poems have appeared in The Los Angeles ReviewPleiades, Poet Lore, World Literature Today, and other journals. Honors include the Dorset Prize, fellowships from Black Earth Institute and the Taft-Nicholson Center, and finalist citations for the Arab American Book Award, the Housatonic Book Award and the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award. www.laurencamp.com

Photo: “Wavelength” by Rob Oo