— for C

Everything I know
fits in my
fist every day

is more a form than
an anger and tomorrow
will also each day

all at once crowded
and saying yes
when I yesterday

lit a match on my
wrist it made the prettiest
hole made small pebbles

of red my skin wrote intersecting lines and some blood. This
is not severing. I’m building this me for when my voice goes
to another side of the house and the whispery part stands
by the windowsill in an afternoon in green shadows
and blades to hear the chipped syllables on tv and glitter

of kitchen lights. Some days I need to hide parts that dissolve,
to paint my hair raspberry or green so I’m a color laid on
and switching to bright. My eyes are gray and this shirt I keep
pulling at the straps of my childhood and my laugh
trembles. I am good now with glitter with whisky with ringed

fingers and watching the flowers doused in new flowers. The room
is the best part and the second time the room is worst
jangle and my mind is orchids or bullies. Best is nerve
and hollow when always day streams out all directions. The best is
when all the fine other people have locked their secret

compartments and I unbolt doors and run with my ears
and the helix I climb reaches fifteen minutes to either side of what
I want, but the best part is picking my scabs or the best is maybe
the nicotine gown, back seat drape and multiplied
roads. The best is filling, filling, my laugh’s intersecting syllables

then waking
while my babies sleep and they
are beautiful the worst

is the lies and the best is
pills the best is
cutting red in my creases

or moon that weight
any more
and worst is that it keeps

repeating and I hide
it the worst is more truths






Lauren Camp is the author of three books. Her most recent collection, One Hundred Hungers, won the Dorset Prize and was a finalist for the Arab American Book Award. Her poems have appeared in Slice, Ecotone, Boston Review, Third Coast, and Diode. Lauren lives and teaches in New Mexico.








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