THE POINT


LAUREN CAMP



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:

white square.jpg
00:00 / 02:14

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