After Work

Cameron McGill

My father split his attentionwith an icepick. Crushed four fingersof a tumbler, lit ten cigaretteslike birthday candles, blew them out.He offered me the olives—each roundbitter, salt and ethyl on my tongue—a trucewithout words. I understoodwhat was agreed uponthose nights when twounlikely things were forced together—I slipped the slick red hearts from their cavities.I was a kid; I was helping.

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Cameron McGill is the author of Meridians (Willow Springs Books, 2020) and In the Night Field (Augury Books, 2021). He has released six albums, most recently 2013’s Gallows Etiquette. His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, RHINO, and elsewhere. He teaches at Washington State University, where he co-directs the Visiting Writers Series.

Cover of In the Nightfield

Brooklyn, New York

"All fire and surprise, sadness and forgiveness...I could never say enough about the beauty of this work."
—Jericho Brown

"Cameron's poems are wonderfully full, energetic, and ardent."
—Vijay Seshadri

"McGill skillfully navigates the mysteries of relationship, memory, and regret as the best poets do."
—Dorianne Laux

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