Two Poems by Lawrence Lacambra Ypil

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Image by Stefan Holodnick. Reproduced under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

Night Report

after J.B.

Dear: life is difficult. We are not allowed
to talk. After all, the rain falls, the sea
yields its fish. We ourselves fall, yield
and the neighbors say, “To talk about money
is to not have it.”

I have no money having just spent it.
T-bone steaks are expensive. Foreign flowers
wilt especially the iris. My mum
calls long distance with her loneliness like copper
wire and wishes I come home

but won’t. The storm does.
The store-front vegetables, maids brace
too late to figure out the face: a free shirt
pressed against itself.

I’m out often, always late.

And anyway, whatever I bring back
won’t change the news, our positions.
The gardener mows the lawn,
through blinds half-drawn. I watch him.

I stay up all night
thinking about the rust that gathers
around the screws of garden cutters,
the buried carcass of that dog, attention.


The Hour is a Dirty Pocket

Inside it is a jacket, a blood-stained who. Who shot the man.
Who grabbed the bag. Who left the bomb under the car
and ran away? We know him dearly, but won’t say.
All we say is lemme see, lemme see the teevee with its flip-squeeze

and spin-a-win. The numbers glitter. The wheels turn
the car in place while the winner sits on stage
beside the market basket and waits for the cellophane
treatment: Awe and Light. Air Time before

he’s swept again into the money-run, a dance.
Canned laughter for the man and for his sons
commercials. We love you very much, Mom.
Toothpaste gets stuck in the hands.


This piece appears in The Lifted Brow #32: The Capital Issue. Get your copy here, or read it in digital form here.

Lawrence Lacambra Ypil is the author of The Highest Hiding Place. He recently received an MFA in Nonfiction from the University of Iowa.