Sam Says, Sam
Sarah Tourjee

Sam says, I love you, Sam, says are you thirsty, Sam, says, goodbye, Sam, says, in winter, air is felt in the body, and you are getting through it, Sam, you are looking for a burrowing tunnel in the water in the negative-two wind chill, and you will find it, you will, Sam. Sam says, emotions can survive, Sam, if unaided, for 90 seconds in the brain. Sam relies on this when Sam feels that Sam is the only Sam, that Sam is so far from land, that Sam has so little to stand on—just a narrow walkway with air on all sides. Sam says, another coast exists, Sam, another ground, even though you can't see it, and sunshine, Sam, persists in the dark.

Sam says, we find each other, other species, other ways to get by. We sleep in piles of skin, of fur, of feathers, and scales, Sam, we are stilled by the pressure of what we hold and what holds us.

Sam says, to tread light, Sam, walk a plain and don't stop. And don't. Don't start, Sam, to wonder what the point is, or why you are born in your body, and why you are not anybody else, Sam. Sam says, dreams are experienced in the brain as true experience, and Sam has dreamed of being born, of opening a shell. Sam has dreamed of dying, of knowing Sam would die. Sam says, this is enlightenment, Sam, says, I love you. Sam says, we compose ourselves for beauty even in blindness, Sam, even when blinking, even when three eyelids separate us, Sam, even when, robotic in our movements, we ask for warmth, Sam, says, don't leave yet, Sam. Stay in this moment, Sam, just stay.

Sarah Tourjee is the recipient of the John Hawkes Fiction Prize and an &NOW award for innovative fiction. Her chapbook, GHOST, is just out from Anomalous Press.

Read ST's postcard.

Read more of ST's work in the archive.

Detail of photo on main page courtesy of Photoquantique.

W i g l e a f               04-18-13                                [home]