Sam Bickford


—and seasons don’t change but bleed through each other—and being in bed is a laxative for risk—and he didn’t sleep—and I try to place that last phone call— and his gravel pitch shifted throat wobble woebegotten croak at the end of the line and I can’t—and I can put on the taste of the song after I got the news— and was it Patsy’s Strange? Or To Here Knows When?—and shit man—and he drove into the Deerfield Creek with his grandma in the car—Xanax—and he said I was smart—and his Mom said We lost an angel—and those hollow pews—and a mcmansion Spartanburg church—and what else could she say— and I can’t believe how lonely a coffin—and death’s within a dream—and the parking lot was indistinguishable from the clouds—and I think of him as incomplete but completely finished— — a hiccup — ——and it’s not an if then statement— — knew he knew— — use needles— — sell back— —repackaged— — from whom killed him— —and I repeated every fact I could make up and — and —and — and memorable not logic— — and atrophy isn’t material it’s memorial—

— everything is a blank check — —and —and— not a loss — — placeholder to placelessness— —and —and youth — being far — —and being an adult is realizing dying isn’t the worst—


Sam Bickford is an MFA candidate at Louisiana State University. He loves bicycles and cats. Work forthcoming in Ilanot Review.