Middle Doorway

by Lauren Camp

Because empty is a sort of confession, 
weeks candle and hum, and I kite
my feet in the little stream. 
Some afternoons I trail to the underside
of grasses with my own viscous hunger 
to lose three hours 
in the valley. This is the color 
of sustenance. Every morning I open 
the door to a field torqued from neighbors. 
Wide, flat, it doesn’t do much but truth 
its terrain. Fog breathes; hay bales 
peg ground with their oils and dust. Nothing I can see 
is at harm, everything attached: lake, tree, scrub, 
sandhills. Abandonment’s glee. Drafts are checked 
by harrier and horse and the day
goes on with its circumstance. Birds mate and rhyme 
their silly lines and brood. Look at the skin 
of this distance! The glow is a palindrome I continue 
to practice. To get here, I climbed faults 
to a reverse. This day: now, won. A bear is possible. 
I ogle whatever is marginal, restless. 
We all disengage. 



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 and interviews have appeared in WitnessPoet Lore, The Rumpus, Kenyon Review, The Los Angeles Review and other journals in the US and abroad. Honors include the Dorset Prize and finalist citations for the Arab American Book Award, the Housatonic Book Award and the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award. Her poems have been translated into Mandarin, Turkish, Spanish, and Arabic. www.laurencamp.com.

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