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i don’t know how

I don’t know how
to get to you,
where you are buried
invisible and small.
Your voice not a whisper,
but the perfect volume
oh, despite what
the other voices say.

Your opinions are
bottled, sealed.
Do you know them?
Hear them?

I will dig here
in this hard ground
because I miss you,
miss remembering you.

In this place
where lie the
consequences of a
quietly silenced heart.

i am sorry for my slowness

I am sorry for my
slowness,
the needle dragging
over the deep
scratch in the vinyl
—I am alone repeated
so often in my head
I would forget there
is more to the song.
So I pick up the needle,
turn the record over,
and start again.
I like it.
It’s worth listening to
with attention
the true song
you play in me.

the mountain we climbed

The mountain we climbed
was high and you led me,
dirt between your fingers
even while it crumbled,
breaking in bits
as our arms stretched
one after another
toward a finger crack
or lock on the crux.
We had no equipment with us
no rope, no anchors,
but your eyes were on me,
asking me to trust you,
not by what you said
but how you looked:
Move forward, move up,
it is a facade that
things are breaking,
you get stronger with
every foothold,
your muscles holding you
for each precarious step.
It is time to break
away now from what feels safe,
which is an illusion, really,
for what is safe and
what isn’t worth risk?

through paned window

Through paned window
this heart breaking
sees stars where there
were none.
For I will sit here and
not be here
or more here
however you want
to think of it.
Present when
time’s white flag
blows in
eternity everywhere
light
light
light
illuminating
through
me.

you don’t

You don’t feel close here
in this empty room,
bare walls, bare space.
I look around, feel
the weight of absence
—where are you?
And the friends who loved
me, fought beside me?
Victory we knew was ours?
Someday, someday my
hands reach to grasp yours
and I am surely hold-
ing only air. Yet
I’m learning to trust
this heart, its opinions,
the weight of its beauty—
strength, glory with you.
For surely, you clear
the room—we two side
by side, your presence
filling all emptiness
‘til it is crammed,
crammed with love even
though there is no one,
no one but you and
me here.

—jennifer j. camp

i will not despise her

I will not despise her
no matter what you say.
She is lovely, her heart
what he holds
in his hands,
Her voice a song he created,
every word a note
he loves to hear.
She is a masterpiece–
exquisite, incomparable,
indestructible fragile-strong.
He calls her Pure,
his True One,
and she cannot be
replaced
no matter what you say.
So watch this
as she stands,
listening, heeding
his calling her name.

—jennifer j. camp

how she finds him

It is when she thinks
she is alone
that she finds him.
A flutter of wings
outside the window,
a caress of wind
on her cheek,
a warm hello from
the wheelchaired man
in his garage.
I am not complicated;
my love for you
is not complicated,
he says.
And the untangling begins
—a whisper, a doubt,
a struggle, a scream.
You have heard me calling
and I didn’t believe it?
How are you near now?
Why can I see you now?
she says.
There, there it is,
he says.
Let me love you
let me love you
let me love you,
he says.

—jennifer j. camp

hold this hand



hold this hand

Hold this hand
calloused, tired
and grasping,
grasping
at this hard air
slipping through fingers
that want to hold on
onto anything
anything
that feels real.
They catch nothing,
hold nothing,
hold nothing I want
to keep.
So catch me
catch me, as I drift
without tether.
Turn my face
so my eyes
meet yours.
The beginning of me
being found.
– jennifer j. camp