In a Place with Two Dawns
By Lauren Camp
At the tortíllería on Siler, the rhythmic slap of flapping
corn draws me to the hijos and hungry men. I can
almost taste the seared sting of chile and carne.
The day pushes me out with a hot batch of hunger
in a twist-tied plastic bag moist with desire.
Driving north on Cerrillos,
I push past the maw of each lowrider two-sided with
color. Stirred by the vibrato of bass through the pavement,
I cruise between trucks tugging the road with tall wheels.
Parking, I walk through a network of heaped-up,
burnt red, sun-battered pots huddled together, sidling
shoulders in a stockpile of jagged heat in Jackalope’s side yard.
The sun waves and smiles from its vast kingdom,
singing hip-hop country love songs to the desert
from its high seat in the open-framed, organza-blue sky.
In the car again, I slide past the white kingdom of the El Rey Motel.
Flowers stumble from boxes. I pass the tattoo shop
erupting with gold-leafed goblins on cinderblock walls;
pass the Indian School living in an immortal
footprint of dust. The sun bellies out,
fat and sweet as the voluptuous flesh of an August plum.
rippling over the window of the herb shop, the book shop.
Steel horses at the School for the Deaf
gallop silently toward the shoreless shadow of the Sangres.
At St. Francis, I play dominoes with sun spots
on the Railrunner crossing, until the bird and its engine
fly by in a flutter of windows and whirring wings.
Past Paseo, I drive to the river where
the musk of day floats out in all directions.
When I sense the sun becoming the color of heartbreak,
I drive on to the mountain, past the dust-bitten buildings.
The sun plays its harp and the moon unmasks
with a slight chill, nuzzling the sky with infinite care.
Sometimes Lauren Camp is a visual artist and sometimes a poet. For more than six years, she has hosted and produced radio programs on KSFR. Currently, you can hear her sophisticated stew of words and music on Audio Saucepan (Sundays at 5 pm). Her first poetry collection, This Business of Wisdom, was recently published by West End Press. Since she had never written a book before, she’s particularly proud of this one. She leads creative writing workshops in Santa Fe, and exhibits her artwork around the country. Learn more at laurencamp.com.