When we erase, we become clearer
and maybe it’s enough
to let days degrade, to set fire

to dark and its long-sinning
dreams. This morning, the sun walks
through the living

room window, already wearing
a willful fullness, and I stand as a lizard
drags a katydid

across my garden path. The world is under
attack and I never take photos
of the critical moments, the ones that keep me

westerly, thistled, without
criticism. The news keeps collecting
its pursuits, and all the hope remains

in silhouette. By noon a development
at the end of the road
is ornate with unyielding

hammering. Above, a copter shakes
the air to outcomes, and cloud-skeins
form, long

as the fissures in mountains. Sometimes we halt
to the sequence between tolerance
and guilt, to the nests

and not the walls. Hundreds
of ants turn circles
on the steps from the door

down the hill. Nothing else moves
and then the trees. When later I listen
to the police chief

reveal that his force
is told to “shoot center mass,” not aim
for shoulders, I breathe

into my palm, inside
myself. The skin of an image. One in power
asks runaways

why? And I pretend there are pearls
to the future,
that no one is dying today. We all see everything

good happens with the flesh
of tongue that knows sweet,
so we must wrack the rough pauses

and plural
ends. I notice again the sharp shave
on my husband. I’ve been stealing

miracles from the cacti
to annihilate every other want. How unremarkable
life is: the dry reach

of the pastoral, the barbs
below a few straps
of owls shaping a constellation.

Lauren Camp