This week, a poem by Sam Ross.



At the church of San Francisco
I lose my companion.
This morning on the red bed

I asked how to do anything
without doing damage.
I had a need

for ritual, wishing
to place blood and milk
in corners, bless keys

and feathers, choose
which cardinal direction
to face in sleep and sex.

In the parking lot
I get too lost in little videos.
A man directs cars.

See how devotion
enshrines even
the very recent past?

This one: dusked view
of the volcanic lake,
empty house embraced

by risen water, barking dog
on the porch—pacing—
the lights still on.


SAM ROSS’s poems have appeared in Tin House, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, Guernica, and other journals. He is co-editor of Circumference: Poetry in Translation.

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