The freeway rolls on, accustomed
to dispersing its crashing noise and rapid
mistakes. I open the blinds, let sun
torch the room. Felt heat bodies me.
A house is being built behind us. The symmetry
of its roof overtakes the sky’s blue
juice. All week I’ve heard hammer and plaster.
Yesterday a doctor burrowed needles
into my torso to warm me, unclenching
a wound to its fluency. Days end and begin
with the building of the house,
which is wide. Nervy trucks blurt
visible labor. Leaves are still
dead in a thin fizzle
of wind. Laid frame, stern posts.
I think about love, which came up alongside
a mountain. Tender in a downpour.
About our small house shouldered on this ragged road
that we homed to its pauses.
Yesterday when the doctor set her bevel
to my fluttering chill and landed
a sticky pulse, I tensed. She asked if I’m tired
but tired’s tongue couldn’t answer.
Cold night again. Leftover soup. I listen
to my beloved scrape a spoon
against the black bowl. On a scrap, I write that we fight
but should instead say we marvel. Should say
every want is protection.
When dusk cries its apologetic colors, I slide
beneath wool blanket and stare
at the new house. Walls, scaffold, points—
what is made and from it what is limited.
The heater looses its currents
along the floor. I feel both jolt
and cove. November.
Feel the blood come. Right across and sudden.
Listen to Lauren read "The Point" below:
LAUREN CAMP (she/her) is the author of five books, most recently Took House (Tupelo Press). Honors include the Dorset Prize and finalist citations for the Arab American Book Award, Housatonic Book Award and North American Book Award. Her poems have appeared in Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Witness and Poet Lore, and her work has been translated into Mandarin, Turkish, Spanish, Serbian and Arabic. www.laurencamp.com