Dear Sam (beginning with a phrase from Simone Weil)

We must love absolutely everything, as a whole
And in each detail, including evil in all its forms,
Notably our past sins, up to and including—
The wet of your eyes and how
I'd do anything to catch them, singing
Ignoring your tongue ring and bad tattoo
And the humid haze of corn and booze the morning after
You'd sneak over to my apartment and throw rocks
At my window to wake me and fuck me
Bottle of beer in your pocket, Ecstasy tab
I'd skinny dip and kiss your girlfriends
You wouldn't offer me heroin or cocaine
And now I'm glad, I'm glad Sam, but remember
Tangling in your bed, Everything felt so natural
Your thick tongue Your shit grin
Now you're somewhere I can't go
One night your girlfriend almost broke the glass
Banging on your window, but you were yours
Which wanted trouble
Hemp pants Chuck Taylors
I'd eat any apple, put it between my thighs
Like that Kendra DeColo poem, not that you care
About poetry unless it's Charles Bukowski
Why did I like you so much
Sappho wrote Before all else was desire
Goddamn it Sam what are you doing out there
They say every alcoholic knows a dead man
Or is one Are you a dead man
Fool Drunk Are you gone
What I remember
Is loving you
But I seek one who came to you too soon
Said Orpheus to the god of the dead
I have some comfort in knowing
That if I dragged you out from the underworld
You wouldn't think to follow me or bother
To look over your shoulder
I am trying to love where I cannot go
Or see because I have to love
Everything, even if you're dead

Ashley Roach-Freiman is a librarian and poet with work appearing or forthcoming in Bone Bouquet, Fugue, THRUSH Poetry Journal, Southern Women’s Review, The Literary Review, Ghost Proposal, and Nightjar Review. She has been a writer in residence at Crosstown Arts and the Sundress Academy of the Arts. The chapbook Bright Along the Body is available from dancing girl press. Find out more at