by Lauren Camp

I was glad to be given a prayer rug,
multi-paned windows with their tiny clouds,
inner tube floating. All day the entirety.
A different version of doors and exchanges of honey.
And the next day, the same.
In the vast library, a painted piano, soft blanket.
I wear my whole wardrobe to walk through
a forest or two. I find torn roots, birch coats
slipping off. Later, I stand at a window,
trying to concentrate
on my transformation, but
birds whistle, tickled
about something: the sky
or the mountain moving ochre to green.
Big stone cubes wish to be a circle
in a field. If I go to the left, the lilies are trembling
to bloom. If I follow a path to a cabin and open the double
doors to a waterfall, I can collect a lexicon of slick edges.
Going away is a risk, a lapse
into stages: first fitted to bodice then in the midst
of a bright unwinding. I’ve been here awhile.
It is not a hurrying place.
The sun sits on marble
for hours, and I sit looking at the hours
it does this. I had to find calm. Narrow gaps
and long hallways.


Lauren Camp is the author of five books, most recently Took House (Tupelo Press), winner of the American Fiction Award in Poetry and finalist for a New Mexico-Arizona Book Award and Southwest Book Design Award. An emeritus fellow of the Black Earth Institute, she has received support from Storyknife Writers Retreat and Denver Botanic Gardens. She will be Astronomer-in-Residence at Grand Canyon National Park in 2022. www.laurencamp.com

Photo by Gustav Gullstrand

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