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The Characteristic Frequency of Feedback Loops

Lauren Camp

Sweat waltzes the top of his head and I love it!

On the main floor, thirty wheelchairs blunt a sequence of slow escapes

A retired podiatrist is bent left in a black bicycle helmet and keeps circling (fart fart)

All of this happens on white linoleum, all the shuffling 

Into eternity and the salacious sun 

The day is ripped open and soft 

Dad scoops his soup with a fork, finds carrots, a crown

How can there be so much to chew and slurp

On this day margarine was patented, made first from beef fat and colored yellow

To seem rich with flavor but I prefer butter 

I am in Florida where it is moody July, all reason emptied to a melting point

My father has gained weight and is bigger and does not exist, I mean

Crows trot out from leaves with their ordinary violence and it is impossible

To carry on a conversation in this room

My father opens his hand his mouth

Looks at the light in his hand

I go on, welcoming the last thing or next thing

What if this work is limitless? 

This is the best moment, or so we say as the window glass trembles 

With its own echo        and simply                  disappears

Lauren Camp is the Poet Laureate of New Mexico and author of five books, most recently Took House (Tupelo Press). Two new books—Worn Smooth Between Devourings (NYQ Books) and An Eye in Each Square (River River Books)—are forthcoming in 2023. Honors include a Dorset Prize and finalist citations for the Arab American Book Award and Adrienne Rich Award for Poetry. Her poems have appeared in Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Massachusetts Review and Poet Lore, and her work has been translated into Mandarin, Turkish, Spanish, and Arabic.­

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