Missing a Verse

Didn’t matter that you didn’t know all
the lyrics to Paul Simon’s The Boxer.
You knew they would save you
as you slipped down the hill from wherever
you shouldn’t have been back
to your dorm in the dark. Offkey,
you assured those faithful
words, getting some flung pulse
in the stanzas, then lathering it loud
as snow left its solitude
in slabs. It was always winter,
compound cold, one dying sky.
Anything could happen on your way
home. The billions of shadows
had details, so you opened your mouth.
The night must be sung. No sicko
could catch you while you were
constellating the sequence,
feeding the black such a resonant effort.

Lauren Camp

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