In Scent and Dusk

By Lauren Camp

Winter’s poor faults brought me here:

one quarter mile off Crocus,

where we talk about small birds and the jewels

no one wants any more, how coffee drips to the cup.

By the condos, shrubs are standing still.

The phones in our hands beep and bubble

in double and triplicate. An occasional ring,

then a nerve. Halfway through

and my thoughts are without ligament.

Around the distinct clock, such separate hours.

From the slatted blinds, broad trees

where the sun spends its petals, all its heat,

and I watch without seeing the morning.

Later, we dent the map for the malls.

At one café, we order a plate of blue blossoms.

They arrive beside measured pop lyrics.

I relinquish the wont to nourish

my senses. We discuss opinions of the gorgeous.

Some thin puddles

array outside the car window.

All the texts ask is it really despondent?

There is no denying that my sleep is erratic.

My clothes crumple on top of a dresser.

I leave when my suitcase is crammed with bangles.


Lauren Camp is the author of two collections. Her third book, One Hundred Hungers, won the Dorset Prize (Tupelo Press, 2016). Her poems appear in Radar Poetry, The Seattle Review, World Literature Today, Memorious and elsewhere. Other literary honors include the Margaret Randall Poetry Prize (via The Más Tequila Review) and an Anna Davidson Rosenberg Award. Lauren hosts “Audio Saucepan”—a global music program interwoven with contemporary poetry—on Santa Fe Public Radio. www.laurencamp.com.