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Cameron K. Gearen

Cameron K. Gearen





Poem Ending with a Line by Robert Lowell


When people mention points of land
they say jut. Here a granite jawline
into this tidal river. Stray from the path
and piles of empties bully me, distilled
to bright poison. Real tombstones
flank this meadow: one for the whole
family Fowle. To whom would I not
admit my desire to join them? Late fall,
Queen Anne's lace skeletons dry climb
my calves, ferry ticks. If I lie
among them. Redeem. Osprey mated
and done. This slope shows water
pocked with seals. The story revolves
around other characters, lost places,
but there's a you I miss. She
heavy-tugs me to this spot. How
otherwise to organize a day, devastation
like a plum? Tongue the inner stone. I've
presented this pretty scene to distract
and it does. Sharp glass under leaf
piles, haunted: someone's liquid ghost.
The you would arrive, if I wrote her in,
with hair streamers and a doughy lap.
Would plant anemones and cosmos
on my sill. I will lie down here till dusk
or past. A goldeneye motors by,
makes no call. Fabulous sun,
incorrigible weeds. They take over
and reclaim the road. A heart like a den
and who lives inside? If the you inhabits,
she'll knock around my chest, scuff the rug.
The day's not going anywhere. Stall:
I'll not move. I myself am hell.




Prayer Against Gluttony


Who would want to if I can bend to this fern where it was in the hollow now my tramp tramp yard. There are places to own to preserve side of a mountain and its glass wash your windows with the squeegee's long neck, brush the orange stucco painted wooden stairs. As much as you earn that's how much. Berkeley and its garden, a chiseled Czech cliff tramp tramp whistle. I've seen people lug their lunches up this high for the view for the ridged loll. Hate to mention hate to certain countries also ownable. I'm thinking of the way the earth takes a corpse over, its liquid jump-starting each body's bacteria. For a billion for the price of several thousand lives. The gun's crack saying leap outside your host organ and feed unless mummified. Bodies owned by microbes owned by earth a million trillion and within thirty years, not.




Prayer Against Greed


How can I not unto fortune. This child walked from the forest. A shirt haloes the ribs and under. I haven't been to that bar where the dock was not satcheled not carumba how do you like your satay? At what hour can the grown-ups order Bloody Marys hungry. My friend said what if we gave way / to wanting: clean laundry, to not have broken be. I don't mean the day my heel took a nail, the foot intact. People are always flaunting their ultrasounds, feet of their babies. This child screamed two weeks and the adults. Confess to what. Plugged their ears, told her this is not rage. Can't. In this life. The chokecherry fruits it gnarls, August, purple, right on time. My face is made to watch it; they're holding me—holding me up / face this way / here, look— to the glass.




Street's Anatomy


Room wherein a clock's
red icing letters fall
back, room faces north
mountain. Also red. Thick-
lidded night. Either you're
awake or I am. You're the person
beyond which without whom
this window not sound-proof.
We read, we study his/
hers declensions, we yawn,
your whiskers lengthen, we
flannel we classic we
halogen. This bed, my
daycared children, my gold
mini-van. Please measure
this house in hands. Spins
the tire, winter, remember
white drivewayed Honda
or the truck Joel bought
on Gulf veteran special,
oil inside earth
inside Q-mart. Oakland,
it's afternoon, sun a
template, remnant, after-
glow. My friend lives
there. One ocean, two
ocean. I can hear how a
tire on ice I can hear
distinct where the muskrat.
Want the park, want some stairs?
This bed my nexus. I ring her
on the portable. She doesn't
pick up she works with pinks
she soaks her brushes. I
tell her machine what organ
loss ate, my caged sweet-soft
innards. Afternoon, afternoon.
She paints the end of noise.
I love her machine. This has
nothing to do with you.




A Handwritten Account of our Courtship


I'm at the stove, Pompeiied,
two small girls at my back
in dress-up heels. She tittered,
she danced. This day has me
sewn between daughters
and snow. He bossed,
she followed. We'll have noodles.
She imagined: dowry, trousseau,
gown, valise, resort wear. She
remarked in cursive
on his obsidian hair.
I feed she fed and cleaned them
every day for decades.
She used to read, we think.
Days opened like windows
with light-dark panes. Two girls
trade tiaras for feather boas,
stuff their handbags fat. She called.
They kissed. Here's just one
person to take care of
and if she stamps her foot
you'll feel it in your own heel.




Love Poem with Monkeys


Newlyweds named me and then
you entered temple gates. Within:
no contact, eye or otherwise. Must be
tables in the double digits
what wall does not sport one.
We went for not-touching walks
when it didn't rain. Rain
was a thing I recognized, the same
on Lake Michigan on
saffron on my mother's hair.
Howler monkeys I think
it was dawn. This is about
our youngness. Do you know
any vacationers? Do they silent?
We pointed when the monkeys came,
explosion, the upper story, branch
limb stalk. You pointed me
up, up I pointed you up then
locked eyes. Eyes instead of tails,
bellies, near-human hands.
I remember my small feet
bare in the sand bigger than yours
by a half-inch. I could wear
your clothes then, try you on—
an eyelid or fingernail, your
voice. This walk like in a clearing
at dawn. Was the scorpion
on the broom the day after
or before? Capacity
to silent. What I hope
our daughters learn from you.