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the street is wealthy & well lit.
his apartment belongs to him—

the lawn’s sprawling architecture
has its history. the trees, their history.

he was a man in my phone,
then a man above me, then a man

asleep. he looks different now
he’s gone. unpressed. expressionless.

i bet he’s dreaming uncomplicated
dreams. wonder what kind of money

buys this ease, to sleep with a stranger
in your home. or do i now

somehow seem known to him
having opened like the back

of a picture frame. having came
& stayed.

what drove me to drive here?
to seizure & breed?

to become again dis ease’s bride
beside an unconscious man.

a dozen like apartments
the same memory foam mattress

this is the most tender i’ve felt
toward him. how easy

i could end him. that’s enough
to let him sleep.


sam sax is a queer, jewish writer & educator. He is the author of Madness, winner of The National Poetry Series, and Bury It, winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. He’s the two time Bay Area Grand Slam Champion, with poems published in The New York Times, Poetry, & BuzzFeed. He’s the poetry editor at BOAAT Press, a 2018 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellow from The Poetry Foundation, & currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.

Photo Credit: Hieu Minh Nguyen.


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