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Poem of the Month

Sam Taylor is the author of the poetry collection Body of the World, a finalist for ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year. He has received the Amy Lowell Traveling Scholarship, the Dobie Paisano Fellowship, the James Michener Fellowship, and fellowship residencies from Yaddo and the Vermont Studio Center, among other honors. Taylor is an assistant professor of creative writing at Wichita State University. He spent three years as a caretaker in a remote wildlife refuge, an experience that inspires the ecological engagement of this work.


From Nude Descending an Empire

by Sam Taylor



In the city of lies, I felt the sunlight
become a lie. I felt the water
like my own body, the current’s warm
rapture and sway that became my body
become a lie. And where the sun
touched the water, it became a thousand lies
that walked about the streets
and one of them was me. I felt my hand become a lie,
my feet, my wrist, my mind, my collarbone;
my spine, my testicles, my ass,
until all that was left, if I could find it,
was my heart, buried under newspapers and plastics.
And when at last I reached it, I asked about
my feet, my penis, my hands. I asked about the water
and the sun, and one by one it returned
them to me. The heart which could not be lost
because the lie that was told about the heart,
through one lone act of grace, happened to be the truth.


Copyright © 2014 by Sam Taylor. All rights reserved.











© 2014 University of Pittsburgh Press. All rights reserved.