Parity Operation


I want to be very clear about this…my childhood
must have been ordinary in my attic bedroom but it let me
pay an advance to a future self. No moon occultations
halved in through those quad-paned windows slight
as a lantern. The street stayed a small disturbance three
stories below. How far the heart reaches to the mirror
of monochrome pleasures. It’s all attention and soap.
Parents spoke their quotes in the kitchen, yellowed
with reason. Usually, gestures. What is an example? Can’t
remember the regular hypothetical etiquette, gone on as I am
in time. Now, stocking bees as if war weren’t learning
its family. Any possibility might not matter. I’ve been
built a perch to attend to the storm that is roiling
in my direction until it evaporates. The past is not even
a frequent potential. Reminded, I’m sucking my tongue
on some proof and melting my need. The faucet comes on,
punctuating the ground, then sound is yanked away.

Lauren Camp serves as New Mexico Poet Laureate. She is the author of eight books of poetry, including In Old Sky (Grand Canyon Conservancy, 2024). She has received fellowships from the Academy of American Poets and Black Earth Institute. In 2022, she was Astronomer-in-Residence at Grand Canyon National Park. She is the recipient of a Dorset Prize and finalist for the Arab American Book Award and Adrienne Rich Award. Her poems have been translated into Mandarin, Turkish, Spanish, French, and Arabic.  www.laurencamp.com