Road Folded Back

Road Folded Back

Road Folded Back 1920 1440 Lauren Camp

One morning last week frost licked the trees
to their edges. On the window,
more marks, half-

written. The morning before,
the car couldn’t rectify anything
we said to each other. That day we were so tired

of using our heads. We went through
intersections and parking lots, needling each other
with nods. Countless
unsolvable responses.
The sky was gray. It hurt to see it

low-shouldered that way. The hours, darkening.
Today is a different day and I want to know about the chemistry

of dying stars, the way the last two
seconds are already erased. Everyone is far ahead

but I want to be soft
of the lurching. Want to listen to my father sing
insipid songs from the best

time in his old branches of memory.
In our living room, pots of geraniums idle in their singular

pursuit: roseate buds, and we kneel
and touch them. We actually greet them.
Dear day—I like when you are slow

waking up, when I can
again see delicacy. Down south, on Sunday we stood
at the pond and cranes sifted
their feathers, then aimed and lifted in a slow

drag. On Sunday, we watched them
fasten their wide wings to the murky sky. It is true
that I didn’t learn

not to worry that day,
but I still might. Yesterday, I spooned thick cream
to the midst of a small mound of cornmeal, and the bread

rose its spice in the oven. There is a margin between
lack and matter.

The wind has traveled first east then all the way
from night to the next town. More
responsive than usual. I know the useless answers I give, one after

another, and how not to give them. His slender shins.
The wind again. Metal roof. That one gold-
papered bottle of olive oil. The fat
of the chicken. Our new green teapot. You couldn’t say
we bought it in haste; I made us return

for the right one three times.
The hoarfrost, we’ll say
every time the sky cedes its palaces to emptiness.

Header photograph © Gordon Lewis.

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