Lauren Camp

The Ballad of Autumn

Today, traces of peaches far more queenly
than the upcoming philosophy

of a boneless winter. I’ll linger on the typical
routine of garden, wanting to hoard

gold fronds, each tooth
on the cacti. To slip between bees

in my small plot—
capable, tilling for elixirs, spinning wings

over browning earth. We’re not yet at wreckage
and wind thrashing or the stiffening

rounds of cold that furrow and quiver
our loving. I have so much to see

right now—birds and preferences, the flank
of the spiraled blooms touched

with the season’s last oils.


Lauren Camp is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Turquoise Door (3: A Taos Press, 2018). Her third book One Hundred Hungers (Tupelo Press, 2016), won the Dorset Prize and was a finalist for the Arab American Book Award and the Housatonic Book Award. Lauren’s poems have appeared in The Los Angeles Review, Poet Lore, DIAGRAM, Boston Review, Crazyhorse and elsewhere. An emeritus fellow of the Black Earth Institute, she lives and teaches in New Mexico.