sam sax


i was born / wheezing / delivered / in a glass
chamber / metal exo / lung / could see / mother /
filled / with gas / later i grew / to love / my nebulizer /
dependent on plastic / machines / to manage / my breathing
inhaler / a second chest / i kept / in my pocket /
one night / i wondered what might happen / if i never stopped
inhaling the drug / might cure / my lungs’ /
sickness / an animal skin / might loosen / so i depressed
the metal ventolin container / sucked in again & again / until i
not quite passed out / rather a lighthouse / rotated its bright
white beacon around inside mine skull / a warning against something
coming / something ugly / some jagged coast / some life i ought to pilot
away from / but all i could see was light / how beautiful /
how right there / how could i not steer toward it


sam sax is a 2015 NEA Fellow and a Poetry Fellow at The Michener Center for Writers where he serves as the associate poetry editor at Bat City Review. He’s the author of the chapbooks, A Guide to Undressing Your Monsters (Button Poetry, 2014) + sad boy / detective (Winner of the Black Lawrence’s 2014 Black River Chapbook Prize). His poems are forthcoming in Boston Review, Minnesota Review, Ninth Letter, Normal School, Salt Hill + other journals.