The prayer is positioned at the starting line

of the 400m to the sweet by

& by     a fire arm

goes off & a voice of mine hollers: Stay


still (if ever it was), alive

& then: Write me (I am)

signed sealed returned to sender as it were

back into illicit clay–damn.


an ouroboric letter / a waste

of postage if you ask me          not to mention


O & suffering


& pressing environmental concerns

like: Getting you off

to a second location

or, All the lights


in Leningrad’re drunk,

hungry, arriving at Port

Authority may refer to: Sweeney being

a surname remembered by a relative


in the wake of a wake

held in the rain

up high to our savior

in supplication


or: a million-strong storm

rolling in on the crabgrass’d Long Island train

tracks leading up to where the gem was found            Look

Demons are held by many systems to be


nervous systems of frantically asked questions

Where are the bread the shoes the magazines

How do I get this thing

Do you know who your children are


what is it called

“in love” with    What’s the word

for someone who writes

with both          or is it no          hands



Samuel Slaton's middle name is Reaves, which is his maternal grandfather's last name and so obviously also his mom's maiden name. He got his MFA in poetry from Brooklyn College, worked for a while as an editor at Publishers Weekly, and is now the Communications Director at Bike New York, a nonprofit that teaches people how to ride bikes.