Let there be footfall and car door. Let me
be finished with fire. Let
the man get on a plane for his morning
departure, erasing each reverie. Soon
there will be only daylight,
maybe a blue envelope, torn. Maybe bracelets
of color from the petunias. I will need
to know how to recover
the familiar, how to open the door
in the evening. How to again lock it.
Almost everything about me goes unspoken,
but commas and colons. I live with this
heart rate, multiple times, its direction,
its tempo: my 4/4 with acceleration, sometimes
tuned to an alternate signature. Think of Brubeck's
"Take Five." Those blocky chords were the result
of an accident-dead on arrival, they said,
after he smashed to the surf. Think how
he switched it around, made his hands
do what he wanted to hear, and forgive me
for the analogy. May I never
rush a surge for a better experience.
Every Sunday all over the country,
apologies gather. When I'm not in this
small cottage, unreacting, I cascade sound
and a few sentences from a cramped
room to whoever will listen. I know some
people think it is sinful to love such temptations,
but I stay with my face soft against
microphone, announcing my moral
directions. Sometimes, I'm convinced my blood
needs all those crossings. I'm not after
absolution. The man I love taught me to want
without lyrics. Remember I haven't
gone anywhere. I'm in a thirsty way
sort of possessive. I shouldn't show you this
side of myself. Try to remember I'm also praised
for my kindness. We each need to learn
to turn off some dreams so we can play
hours without creases.
About this poem
"Sometimes my poems are clearly focused on a single topic, but more and more they seem to need to be about many things because that's how I experience the w orld-so much going on all the time. Given the chance, I'll always try to make c onnections-in this case between jazz, love, humanity and potential error."
About Lauren Camp
Lauren Camp is the author of "The Dailiness" (Edwin E. Smith Publishing, 2 013). She hosts "Audio Saucepan," a global music/poetry program on Santa Fe Public R adio, and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The Academy of American Poets is a nonprofit, mission-driven organization, whose aim is to make poetry available to a wider audience.
(c) 2014 Lauren Camp.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate