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In Late August

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In a culvert by the airport
under crumbling slag
wine colored water seeps
to this pool the two does
drink from: each sipping as
the other keeps look out.
The skyline is a blur
of  barcode and microchip.
Even at home we hold
the narrowest purchase.
No arcs of tracer fire.
No caravans of fleeing
families. Only this
suspicion ripples
through our circles of lamp glow
(as you sweep the faint sweat
from your forehead and flip
another page in your novel)
this sense that all we own
is the invisible
web of our words and touches
silence and fabulation
all make believe and real
as the two does out
scavenging through rose hips
and shattered drywall:
their presence in the space
around them liveliest
just before they vanish.

Source: Poetry (November 2007)

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This poem originally appeared in the November 2007 issue of Poetry magazine

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In Late August

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  • Peter Campion received his BA from Dartmouth College and his MA from Boston University. His collections of poetry include Other People (2005) and The Lions: Poems (2009). He has also written monographs and catalog essays for the painters Joseph McNamara, Terry St. John, Mitchell Johnson, and Eric Aho. He regularly publishes literary and art criticism in numerous journals and has won a Pushcart Prize.

    Equally comfortable in formal and free verse, Campion writes poems that deftly bridge intimate and social concerns. Campion’s former professor, the poet Robert Pinsky, notes in an AGNI review of Other People that the “closeness of the uncanny to the quotidian is Peter Campion’s kind of material.” David Biespiel, reviewing The Lions in the Oregonian, observes, “Campion is a poet who knows that what a poet sees is nothing without a mixture of formal prowess and emotional insight.”

    Campion has held a George Starbuck Lectureship at Boston...

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