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Tuesday, June 28, 2011


by Lauren Camp

New Mexico, June 2011

The earth is burning

and I am hiding down the hill, beyond a culvert
and through cottonwood roots.

The wild zigzag of leaves.

Suffocating gape
of sky. I could be anyone

watching satin red birds fly through
the mirror of knowing,
carting their single suitcase to the birdbath.

I breathe the leftover tang of Wallow dust.
Eighty-two percent contained.

I breathe the Conchas ash blown from the west,
then south by east.

44,000 acres.
Smoke: the way we tone down desert colors.
The only sound: the honking arc of ravens.

I sit in this swing rocking back and forth,
dry air cradled between my scissoring legs.

I press my face into the skin of dirt,
rest my cheek on clumps of cool ground,
pray for the clouds to leak rain,

a mountain of rain.

Lauren Camp is producer of Audio Saucepan, a music and poetry program that airs on Santa Fe Public Radio. The author of the poetry collection This Business of Wisdom (West End Press), she creates visual artist and blogs daily about poetry at