Two Poems by Lauren Camp




                   The body is susceptible to pain…
                   It has thin skin and blood right underneath

                                               --- Wislawa Szymborska

The unnamed dark of day comes in
on a phone wire—-a small burden of language, 
the full torment: lure and the scorn. 

Wind opens its jaws at the window. 
The year is not yet a wedge
in the calendar, the day’s hardly
a gamble. All afternoon we keep the smears

and sharp punctuation
in our pockets, the insoluble musk
of those double-edged figures. 

We turned articulate
out of necessity. Dry rage lavishly arranged. 







Each I were we—there or here without
one person. With another and ferocious
to them. Each I flowered outward 

          and he and I knew what was being done with
          one person—and ferocious

most to that other. Dark thoughts and doorways
and we knew what was being done
this side of flesh, both now straying to 

         most of another. Dark thoughts and doorways
         crossed together. We bent and fell 

this side of flesh, both now straying to
a last precipice, which we’d only
cross together. We’d promised. We bent and fell 

         and were again more than one and one
         at a last precipice, which we would never

have thought to do to each other and we swore
never again more than one and one
to the other. Each I might flower outward

        but wouldn’t reach to another and we swore
        each I would be this we—there or here.