Cam Awkward-Rich


I am vast. I contain

a barren sidewalk. A city

block. A knot of sparrows.

One handful of bread.

No matter what I do

with my hands

there is still the life that wants

no part of me. No matter

what I do with the girl

there she is.


The girl drops an O into the slit.

A door opens & out falls the world, sweet

& tacky as the sugar flossing her tongue.

Who went & made the girl an emperor?

Who gave her that scepter?

Who told her speak & her will be done?


I swear, there was a story

but each time I reached out

the words grew


let’s suppose it was a trap-

door all along.

Let’s suppose it was a glass

of water. Let’s suppose

I looked down a long hallway

& turned back.


You know, whoever said

that thing about words & stones

must have never been a child

who had only words

& stones & a river to walk

toward, pockets full of both.



Cameron_AwkwardRichCameron Awkward-Rich is currently a PhD candidate in Modern Thought & Literature at Stanford University. He is a Cave Canem fellow, on staff at Muzzle Magazine, and author of the chapbook Transit (Button Poetry, 2015). Cam’s debut collection, Sympathetic Little Monsters, is forthcoming from Ricochet Editions in 2016.



(Visited 887 times, 1 visits today)