Sam Ross

Sometimes, still, I hold my hand to my eyes

so the sun becomes another thing sewn up

tied inside. I am making a mystery

where none exists.



To see can only be piece-by-piece.

To see an icepick shine, shine, shine.

Recognition is sly, mimicking the edge

between a door & jamb

holding back the empty hall

as if to say don’t come any closer

but they did.



I held fast to what was safe

when I was safe. I gave up the ghosts

that should have remained reminders

of the randomness in each piece

of the world.

& blood wheeled around my iris.

& a blood-spoiled oasis

became the bargain struck by day

dimming days into another year.



Then: cell by cell the scar allays

its ridge of pink to white.



Then: I know what kind of world it is

by the sound of its emergencies:

Doppler waves of sirens,

red breaking blue.

The box fan bends the smoke

from oil drum barbecues

into anchors that strike the bottom

of my lungs.



What it means to change?

I wanted to kill

the air for touching me

until I couldn’t

remember differently

& now what remains

is the comedy of it.

How blood filled my eyes

the morning after the night

I said love

the very first time.


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