When the car worked, he drove it down the mud-notched hill
through juniper branches low-hanging the road, past dogs barking

both ways. Now the engine fine-tunes a hollow cluck, a few recitations
of minimal hope, the guttering serration of space. He listens

to those complaints. The car has sutured its green body to the white side
of the slope, where wheels lay back in multiples of sludge.

We’re not going anywhere – New Year’s Eve. He returns to the form-fitting
silence of the motor. He checks the cold compression, pulls a box

from the sparkle and scale of acid, out from trusses and joists that flip
and hook in the engine. A raven moves between branches.

An occasional sleeve of snow in a landscape ragged and absent.
I watch from the window as night keeps loosening and coming down

with its charcoal heavy body, cloud-stretched and moon-stamped,
then drag-around dark with sunset off in a corner. Dead-ahead lightning

and long shadows of winter. The ground shoulders each hour of cold.


Lauren Camp is the author of three books, most recently One Hundred Hungers, winner of the Dorset Prize (Tupelo Press, 2016). Her poems have appeared in many journals, including New England Review, Poetry International and Beloit Poetry Journal, and have been translated into Turkish, Mandarin and Spanish. Lauren is a Black Earth Institute Fellow and the producer/host of Santa Fe Public Radio’s “Audio Saucepan,” which interweaves global music with contemporary poetry.