The road through El Remate never went straight,
but the thought of moving
was slender and vulnerable, curling toward,
then away from us. All day,
the road conversed with the lake,
and the weather beat down on its tired face.
Sun clawed as if in a trance.
Around noon, we decided to walk into town
to the carts and the awnings we hoped
would be there. We spoke of distance,
then nothing, then processions of monkeys,
and other gradual musings. We ate in the drape
and sway of small hollow breezes,
with only slight talk —
asking for ice and again ice, which spiraled
around in our desperate bodies. On the way back,
the road moved more slowly,
the land blunt in the dangerous heat.
At the inn, a young man held out
large glasses of sharp sweet lemonade – glistening,
cold. We offered perspiring Spanish
with fitful verbs. A fan sent its quizzical smile
in circles. Around us,
the yellow birds and gardenia,
and down a long row of stairs, the lake
and its gentle frustrations. The heat kept to its welling
until long past nightfall,
until we felt haunted, inhabited, omniscient.
Lauren Camp is the author of two books, most recently The Dailiness, winner of the National Federation of Presswomen 2014 Poetry Book Prize and a World Literature Today “Editor’s Pick.” Her third book, One Hundred Hungers, was selected by David Wojahn for the Dorset Prize (Tupelo Press, 2016). She produces and hosts “Audio Saucepan,” a global music/poetry program on Santa Fe Public Radio. www.laurencamp.com.