Conversations with My Aunt

by Brett Shaw

That time of day when streets exist
only in the grace of angles shadow allows—
                                        space for running;
              space for hiding. I can remember
moments I hung between that choice
as a child. Sometimes now

in discussions of sex
                                        someone will ask me how
              the clinical they can take it.
                                                     Take the pain. I know
                           pain is a pattern contrary
to expectation—

                                        less bright—though,
at moments, as blinding
              as I’ve wished—more
                           the sensation of water rising
                                                     as I stand in (move
                                        further into) it. Snow

                           melt—the entering of—
all acceptance.
Nothing sudden but the blue
                           glow the body takes.
              And if we lie down in it, hours
                                                     with it over our head?

                                        That, too, I’ll accept.

Brett Shaw is a poet and educator living in Houston. Recent work appears or is forthcoming in Colorado ReviewSouthern Humanities ReviewBOAAT, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA from the University of Alabama.