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Just Now

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a ladybug, its carapace blown open
so a translucent trace of orange gleams
from its body, has ascended link by link
the smudgy silver curve of my watch band.
It must have helicoptered past the sill
while I was slumped here squinting in the paper
at the ashen packaging another bombing's
made of a minivan. Made available
in the photo like the homeless in a poem.
The pain is far away. But then for moments
utterly clear: molten metal guttering
down from the Milky Way to fall on us.
And sometimes, God, it lands with all its will.
My spluttered prayer for it to hold its distance:
how ludicrous to blurt it from this comfort.
Still it impels itself from me. Please stay
away from me. Please stay away from this
insectile soul who only weeks ago
was wind and shit and jasmine leaves and rain.


Source: Poetry (November 2007)

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

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Just Now

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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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