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The Other Side of Now

Lauren Camp

Will we abolish the police department.

It's hard to resolve.

The world clings to the takeover

of flyover states

with financial incentives.

Rude laws are laid down

with terrible choices.

For sale signs go up.

People are somehow cross-hatched.

Others vanish.

Banners billboards auctions.

Doctors nuance the science and what we see

is erosion. We see gullies

of breathing. Emergency rooms

where they may not be people.

I try to remember the reality

could be the city

or the roses uncut in a nearby morning.

We have talked about gray areas from every region:

crime against, crime by,

sirens and wild cards and histories.

She says damn level best

and it is Sunday. She says

she still doesn’t know how to vote.

It takes discipline to find hope

among all these doorknobs, this gnawing.

To avenge such constant within

I will drive toward the woods.

Toward whatever is under me.

The weather is still singing

its succinct wisdom.

How easy it is to watch sun please

the ground. I want to live only

in that way it divides the trench

from the darkness.

Lauren Camp is the author of five books, most recently Took House, winner of the American Fiction Award in Poetry and Distinguished Favorite for the Independent Press Award. Other honors include the Dorset Prize and finalist citations for the Arab American Book Award and New Mexico-Arizona Book Award.