poetry by Samuel J Fox


I wanted to disappear:

what I received instead was the horizon

violet as death.

Everything was rigid with meaning

before it wasn’t. A fog

scraping its belly across my forehead.

The house I thought was home

turned into a mortuary & I realized

I was dressing the dead

calling it family. Do not mistake me

for a fool: I know my limits.

I can only be what I believe I am.

I just didn’t know how a mother

can make her son feel

like the sequins on a gaudy dress.

I just didn’t know how the silence

a father keeps in his mouth

can be cleaned like a gun.

In slow cadence...

poetry by Samuel lJ Fox

In slow cadence compared to the world,

I wander below a field of stars

glimmering in their wide arrangement.

It is always here, beneath the whole of things,

I find Orion none the wiser.

It is always here, thinking of you

I realize there are parts of myself people

will always take before asking;

perhaps, because I don’t reproach love

for being moneyless, sanctified.

Some nights, I watch Mars red flare

and believe in science fiction.

Some nights, Jupiter and his mandarin storms,

may pull on me into my temper.

Most nights however, I remind myself

nothing truly manifests as important.

There is no dire need for work:

the corporations make that a necessity.

There is no grievous hankering for more:

consumerism is a pulsing tooth

in the mouth of a hungry country.

Nothing truly matters, but that does not

abscond the fact that it isn’t beautiful.

Vanity of vanities, this thing beauty.

Tonight, a Luna moth lands on my knee,

and I dare not move. I dare not scare it.

It only lives for two weeks, and yet

for its fraction of a moment it is here

landed on my body, resting.

There are pieces the world can’t take

from us, not even if we dare it.

I wish you were here to see me,

statuesque and penitent

of all I was not prepared to give

and as I lift myself onto two feet

watch it, touched by an apparition,

as it flutters away searching for light:

this is what it means to be mortal.


Samuel J Fox

Samuel J Fox is a non-binary, bisexual writer of poems and essays living in the Southern US. They/He is poetry editor for Bending Genres. They/He appears in numerous online and print journals as well as in coffee shops, dilapidated places, and graveyards depending. They/He tweets (@samueljfox).