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Cameron Finch

Liberty {disambiguation}

I don’t want to admire her.
I want to understand the root of admirations.

I envy the copper. Envy the blood.
I’d like to have them switch places for a day.

What a day to stand still.
What a day to walk the city with those green feet, so flat so storied.
What a day to feel a different kind of loneliness.

I’ve looked for her green in every living/unliving thing.
But green can look awfully like lavender when the light is just right.

It is all about conditions.
What is lost in stillness?

The repetition of boats searching for freedom like shells at her shore. Only the shells aren’t shells at all.

They are hands.

Teeming with exile.
Sprouting with fiddlehead ferns.

It is all about conditions.

Take the salt air. On brazen skin creates a verdigris patina.


It is all about the boats. Do the boats come any more?

What comes.


What a day to stand still.


I am exhausted by all these imaginings.


I stuck my head in a vase of lavender spears this morning.
Smelling for her, of course.

The stalks pierced my face.
Her crown.
Fingers in pie.

I counted each stalk one by one just to touch them.
I didn’t need a reason.


Here’s the reason: Velvet fingers.

Are green.


I dream of hers. Fingers in fingers. How hard they’d feel against mine.

How occupied they’ve been for 130 stolid years with tablets and light. Enlightening the night and the pleadings at her feet.

This is how I know I’m alive.

This yearning. Reaching for her

- a statue,
but oh god the mystery, the realness, the lavendergreen -

in my vacant bed.

She is there.
She is awe.
She is here.

Who would want to trade this blood for what?

For what.

The Eaters

I wake up with fingers punching holes in butter,
in bread, in peaches, in me.
Nothing ever crawls out but my hunger.

Now I am singing in the shower.
My voice fills my mouth like rain.

The TV is on in the next room over.
I like to eat its fizzing sound.

On the news, they say a magpie has been shot down with a stolen rifle.
Paints the highway with the same dark crimson
of my grandmother’s berry cobblers.
The ones I always refuse.

On the news, they say a car swerved into a ditch to avoid the vultures
devouring all that magpie flesh.
The driver is too deformed to identify.
The ditch blankets them in forgotten linen.

The news forgets itself constantly
while I scrub hard at my deadening skin.
I become lighter, lighter, lighter.

Now the news hosts are cooking. They challenge: “Whom can consume
more?” Volunteer eaters from the audience
wear checkered-print aprons and bibs made for steak.

The eaters spray a half can of Cool Whip
into their scavenging mouths.
It is almost a miracle.

I could never put it in my mouth.
I am everywhere I go.

The blackberry blood smeared on every mirror
face in the house, in every line
marred on my hands—it refuses to come out.

The TV is still on. I am still singing in the shower.
When will my body become a soft voice?

Maybe I will sing today’s self away
in this earless, eyeless cocoon.

Sometimes singing is all we can do.

➥ Bio