Dotted Memory

by Lauren Camp


I saw Andromeda as the sky ripened.
Stood far from the pivots of light. For years
my body stretched and thinned in anticipation

of something I wanted to be given. A constant
skirl, a perfection. But maybe
it’s the other way around: the lack from outside and me thick

within it. It doesn’t mean anything, what exists.

Life is some feathers, some love, every worn gasket—
it can all be chased away.
If you cannot remember this,

take heart. Outside will again whittle
stars from the gushing dark as though picking them
clean out of a plan that never was absence.

Lauren Camp currently serves as New Mexico Poet Laureate. She is the author of seven books, most recently An Eye in Each Square (River River Books, 2023) and Worn Smooth between Devourings (NYQ Books, 2023). Camp is a 2023 Academy of American Poets Laureate fellow, recipient of a Dorset Prize, and finalist for the Arab American Book Award, Housatonic Book Award, and Adrienne Rich Award. Her poems have been translated into Mandarin, Turkish, Spanish, French, and Arabic, and have appeared in New England Review, Poem-a-Day and Kenyon Review.