Sam Lane

Rosemary Bath


It’s been years since you picked rosemary 
from the stranger’s garden and anointed
your palms and bowed your head 

to your hands’ holy cup. 

The thing, the unhurried lesson
is still a closed flower, uncoaxed by a ritual
gone cold. What I mean to say is this:

I was shown the act and mishandled the gift.

With perfumed hands, I lost years trying to turn habit into ritual
that an inner world will grow and I will make myself 
the most attractive I’ve ever been. Sometimes, I return

to the garden of Anyone and repeat the old way. 

I perfume my hands to mime the sun’s inspire—
the deep breath that pulls loose the flower’s scent. 
For me, the lesser one, the bud unravels 

not and remains scentless like the rosemary flower.

what the outer seeks has halted, for the ritual has changed. 
Hands now evaporate with alcohol in fear
of something as invisible as a calling. 

I thought I had culled my most
nervous parts.

Sam Lane is an MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Pittsburgh. He is originally from Valdosta, GA. Although being primarily a poet, Sam has always loved the visual and performative arts. As his interests intersect his work attempts to find compromise between performance poetry and poems made for the page.
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