Thursday Nov 23

CampLaurencreditAnnaKateYarrow Lauren Camp is the author of two books of poetry. Her third book, One Hundred Hungers, won the Dorset Prize (Tupelo Press, 2016). Lauren is a 2015-2018 Black Earth Institute Fellow and the recipient of the National Federation of Press Women Poetry Prize, the Margaret Randall Poetry Prize and an Anna Davidson Rosenberg Award. She produces and hosts “Audio Saucepan” on Santa Fe Public Radio.www.laurencamp.com.  Her books (and one CD) are available to purchase here.   
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Devour



The trick of each meal was how it explained its sweetness.
This was the story she ate every day.

She inhaled the cup,
and the bowl returned from her. She swallowed the fat
and the glut, each narrow spoon and burden of life.

As evening thrashed forward, she haggled the silent supply
of desire, feasted on weakness, ate one hundred hungers

on chipped china plates, needing the banquet of being alone
at a table of mustn’ts and shouldn’ts.

The cell structure: each droplet of oil and garland of butter.

Her knife gathered the cream, each toothful of texture,
until the pleasure was in her,
though the effort had drained her. The balm of food, the stink

soothed her. An appetite constantly spread her.
She pardoned the liberties it took with her body,
wanting the misshapen function of hanker and bite.

Numbers shuffled forward on her scale in a collision of figures.





Transformation



For a decade, sun stenciled and hungered
on each panel and stile of our exterior doors,
crafting cracks in long-tired wood.

So on Wednesday, defeated by the cumulative
blister of global disaster, we removed
the front one by hinges, laid it down like a glove.

Wind dredged dust across us. My love, ever efficient,
scraped ancient finish off with his orbital.
I followed with 80-grit sandpaper

and my limited sinew and muscle.
My right arm first wandered in swirls, then, corrected—
long specified strokes to remove a critical stratum

of murk. We couldn’t clean up the planet
so we cast resin with brushes side-slick and dripping.
We varnish-yoked planks in the heartwood and pith.

That day the drone of distance was not
where we live. We were melting in summer’s glowing
but we took down the back door and repeated the process,

then applied the sugar-shine of second coats.
The timber went darker as the broad spread of spar gleam
speckled and marinated the fir to sleek copper.

How much still flares quick so beautiful?
Right there, in front of us, light stroked our jamb
and fluoresced in flashes of satin.

On the smallest, hottest, endangered level, we were filled
with the gloss-beam of completion,
the rightness of entering and exiting whatever comes next.

How much hand do we generally have
in our days? We stood in the slug
of crimson sun. Admired the oncoming darkness.





Letting the Absence Speak



On the grass of the grave fifteen minutes
from the train we took at Grand Central

north through old landmarks and language
and freeways, we watch maples languish

in their final colors. My mother is like everyone
here—in her grays, staying. Train signals

offer their suffering. Horns bleat past
the cemetery which unwraps

with dusk. The ground lays flat in some places,
and dips where the moon has placed

extra attention, a hollow of dark
that seems nearly alive. We sit for a while

as memory survives. On the way back to
the city, we look at the magnitude

of gloom rolling by. We don’t talk.
When we get on the bus to get through

the tunnel, we don’t know we will stop
at the skyline with its exquisite emphasis.

That despite the glint, we will hear
only her voice coming nearer.



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Photo Credit, Anne Kate Yarrow