Sam Burns

Sam Burns grew up in Bath and moved to London to pursue her writing career. Her poems explore loss, love and the intricacies of the mundane, with simple, stylish syntax running throughout.




snoozing, sleeping
no –

he’d probably say: spectacles wear him.

On the Night Tube
worked late – that’s no surprise.

Shoes fringed, suit not tailored
buttoned jacket unhinged
mud brown favoured.

Gentle smile with thinning lips
overcoat folded
well equipped

hands crossed, no –
entwined, for sure.

Deep sleep
no movement with the doors –

Curious moles
enough to scare, one home to pubic hair.

Father of two
(was three)
they’re doing well.

Likes batman or chess
it’s hard to tell.



Marbled on your skin
a primary colour palette
an underline or emphasis.

Time met measure
somewhere between two four
six four, between forever
and nevermore.

Marbled on your skin
medical teeth marks
your hand has swelled

a textbook of liver failure
my father’s love
leaving fingerprints
as he tries to hold on to you.

Marbled on your skin
A neon-printed warning
this is what happens when:

but she never smoked

marbled on your skin

but she never drank.



Supermoon bloomed for you,
knocked at the door with a fist
full of stolen light.

We Instagrammed, and allowed history
to be kept in the future’s library.

Our last night –
the one where you said goodbye
and I counted your rusted hairclips.


What’s Left of Us

We framed you within the guidelines;
combustible, rigid container. No metal.

Your face now made up like pantomime,
wig hair and gaping mouth closed by lever.

Everything that came before has gone,
wetted itself into a dissolve, absent ashes.

My memory hangs like an idle picture book

echoing creaks of another life,
one where we had our conclusion.