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By Sam Ambler

The first time I saw my own light I was five.

I was dazzled by the blaze of recognition—

the man inside the boy’s heart.

Who I am has not changed from that day,

only aged.

Out of this crystal core

I found I could stretch my fingers through flames

to pluck the blossom off of columbine

without bruising the petals,

to finally give the kiss I had kept for you

from a time before Lot fled Sodom

and the myth of sodomy was born

to separate Castor and Pollux.

In the light of my own soul I proffer my heart,

and if you want more,

take what comes with the touch of my hand,

the silk of my lips, the breath of my passion;

and from the unplumbed pool of my dreams

where I would have you swim,

take the life-vest that is my safety net,

float with it until we wake together.

Take whatever you will of me, my love,

hold me in your arms.


Sam Ambler’s writing has been published in Christopher Street, The James White Review, City Lights Review Number 2, Nixes Mate Review, and Visitant, among others. He won the San Francisco Bay Guardian’s 6th Annual Poetry Contest.

He earned a BA in English, specializing in creative writing of poetry, from Stanford University. He delivered singing telegrams and sang with the Temescal Gay Men’s Chorus in Berkeley and the Pacific Chamber Singers in San Francisco. He has worked in nonprofit theater at Berkeley Rep, Geffen Playhouse, Actors’ Equity, and The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Now retired, he lives in California with his husband, visual artist Edward L. Rubin.


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