Poem 220 ± January 10, 2016

Sam Sax

how harrowing the paradox of latex. on one hand the paragon of intimacy, on the other a
glove like a father loved more in his absence. my paramour, my minotaur, my matador
flashing his red sword. dear condemnation, i have read all the commentaries of raw,
how the forbidden fruit grows less sweet the more you gorge on it. i’ve seen the formal
debates where two gaping wounds stand behind podiums + reach into each other’s
mouths. discourse, its own form of pleasure. pleasure at its most broken down,
a series of shapes. ethnographies bleed from the ivory tower, the tower made of animal
teeth. the distance between theory + practice is a slick laceration. it’s right there
in the name, unprotected, to be laid out before the animal in him, to be defenseless
+ deforested. perhaps this works out better in myth:

he pilots my body across a waterbed
full of drowned fish. in the distance, women
sing us toward shore.

or perhaps, it’s best to end in images:

a handful of gravel, the open ground,
a groveling mouth, a grave half full of water
with my body not in it yet.

sam saxSam Sax is the author of the poetry collections A Guide to Undressing Your Monsters (Button Poetry, 2014), sad boy / detective (Black Lawrence Press, 2015) and the forthcoming All The Rage (Sibling Rivalry, 2016). His poems appear or are forthcoming in The Beloit Poetry Journal, Best New Poets, Boston Review, Indiana Review, Pleiades, New England Review, Poetry Magazine, Prelude, and other journals. Sam was a 2015 NEA Fellow and a finalist for The Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. A two-time Bay Area Grand Slam Champion, Sam is currently a Poetry Fellow at The Michener Center for Writers where he serves as the Editor-in-chief of Bat City Review.

This poem appeared in Apogee.