THE SHAPE OF US, QUICKLY
A summer so long it feels dangerous.
Time thickens. Hot hours press their ears to us.
We want to pay for our alcohol in strange ways.
Shark teeth could get a case of beer for us.
Weathermen foretell mundane disasters
when stalled skies won’t clear for us.
But I can tell the origin of planes
reading the white trails that appear over us.
We play a band whose Japanese name means
Kinky Sex so loud the neighbors jeer at us.
They’ve discovered a planet with oceans
as deep as ours only light years from us.
In sleep, your hands move in imaginary fields,
running like startled deer from us.
On the evening of the hottest day, he said, Drive
faster, Sam, what is there left to fear for us?
Sam Ross’s poems have appeared in Tin House, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, Guernica, and other journals. He has been awarded fellowships from the Watermill Center, Columbia University, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and he is co-editor of Circumference: Poetry in Translation.