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6220 Camp Street

The morning of the strange wind,
                      I opened tin cans,
scooped chicken livers into pie plates. The city

                                    emptied of trumpets, neon,
loaves of bread. All around me,

a shotgun of nails. I unpacked boxes
                      of tempera, acrylic,
synthetic bristles.
                      When the oak fell across the lawn,
           I sat in the hallway and drew

its chalk outline. The city
           became soft, there, dark
water slashed across paper. I counted

                                 shed claws in the red rug,
           rubbed whiskers with my thumbs.

When the light rose again, its bright splinter
           cracked every surface: broken
window, the street

                                a canvas of roof tiles.
                      I filled my pockets

with black slate, these chipped
           relics. In my hands, I painted this
ruin into a strip of starlight,

                slash of half-moon. For days
           there was nothing but oil smears, gloss

of orange, my cat-circled shins. On a napkin,
           I watched water turn each greenburst, pop
of blue into shredded leaves, mold-blooms, a buried sky.


Amanda Auchter

The Wishing Tomb
Perugia Press

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