sam sax

Gay Boys and the Bridges Who Love Them

it is not the fall, exactly. not the crash either, the swallow, 

             the life flashing backwards behind the dark screen of the eyes, 
                           the water rising up to meet you.  
no. it is not what drove your body here like a stolen car.
              why you abandoned it on this unreasonable ledge. not why 
                            you dove in, salt wind singing its perfect punctuation. 

it is not the city stretching out before you waving 
              its startled steel hands. it is not the last man who turned 
                           you down, or turned you out, or turned the camera on.

it is not the six seconds between here and impact,
            though each is its own poem. it is not how the body 
                          overflows like a damned river into its ocean,

the shopping mall of chemicals doing their patient 
             and awful sorting. not the suit of clothing you decided 
                            to die in, the wrinkled cotton jacket and its wet lineage. 

the neck tie and its perfect knot. it’s not even the difference 
             between being pushed and choosing to leave.
no. it is the wreckage  
              spilling from the wreckage.  
                             it is the light  
                                           throwing its last shade. 

sam sax

sam sax is a Fellow at The Michener Center for Writers + the associate poetry editor at Bat City Review. He's the two time Bay Area Unified Grand Slam Champion + 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, Hayden's Ferry Review, Paris-American, Indiana Review, Normal School, Salt Hill, Rattle, + other journals. He's the recipient of a 2015 NEA Literature Fellowship in Poetry.