Gone Lawn
a journal of word-things
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Gone Lawn 48
spring equinox, 2023

Featured artwork, Elephant 1, by Neila Mezynski

New Works

Lauren Camp

The Future of These Days

We live haunted. Even daylight even blue roofs even culverts with a trickle or gush, and always the doves gray along in the simple sky. Wind has again been promised and we’ll have to participate. Remember the Russian furniture maker, how we met rollerskating. I didn’t have to be polite and that is what is true versus what really happens. I could think about this for years. The day we took the gingered cat back to the shelter, snow threatened to swell and the desert knew it could be worse. The house only echoed our facts in the back room. We bought parallel lines and so began stitching each day to its next. The yellow clock settled with all the American parlances and the tally of its ticking. Tassels of trees. The ongoing wind that night argued itself, then vesseled to corners. People are worse than foxes. They filch the future. I open a book and rub against the new verbs we need. Have you ever gone back through your endings? Time seems to be a personal history of rollicking chandeliers. We land in the landscape of limestone stripped to gypsum. As told to us, different bright years. I listen to the feasible swing of your heart. In this wildness I won’t forget how the wind is having its greatest success and I hope I remember that we are a sanctuary. Let’s rewrite the afterlife.

The Sun Sings of Escape

Today I walked past my neighbor’s empty blue planters. Years ago I praised her pink roses; banana peels nutrient their beds. A rabbit today took a full bite from the pad of a cactus. Today the flying ants zip the concrete step to the studio. Today I ordered a pound of tea and two hummingbird feeders. I picked up the mail: a circular and a check. On the envelope, my name in jittery handwriting, each letter repeated a second and third time. Today I found a small snake the color of lightly baked bread on the dirt road. I found a broken stick from the desiccated elm. I tried to push the snake. The snake moved into C shapes wherever I wanted it to go. Today there is a new asparagus plant at the back of the house. Six inches tall and thick as my finger. A man with a small plow is working the land behind Becky’s sprawling house. Today I noticed him do that. Never noticed those fields before. Thought nothing of what I thought was nothing. Today I saw a long-haired girl on a ridge. The only children I know are the twin boys at the rental, tending the chickens. Today the wind idled while we ate breakfast but last night it condemned with its angry song. Today I found a third of a Delft plate on the road, its jagged edges pointed up. My life’s been so busy and I wanted for calm, and look at how it has come, how it is here.

Lauren Camp is the Poet Laureate of New Mexico and author of five books, most recently Took House (Tupelo Press). Two new books—Worn Smooth Between Devourings (NYQ Books) and An Eye in Each Square (River River Books)—are forthcoming in 2023. Webiste: www.laurencamp.com.