Confessions from a reticent sailor: the Lies
    Kent Shaw
I was first to introduce the sweet poison.

Latency and this my love is how it takes its own
    pains in finding a cure.

This kiss on the cheek, the stiff handshake
    good night.

Please, I am not looking for pardon in this
    my proposed list of crimes.

I ask only for familiarity and the quick rule of law.

Everyone will face an opposite eventually that
    knows nothing of shade trees in moonlight
    or the fine gradient between too much
    and too soon.

The cloak worn through evening to conceal
    the daggers from those I love most.

This my love is what I prop under the porch light,
    a rock from the beaches of Rhodes.

Notice the rough complexion: it resembles devotion.

Like the Forgetfulness or the Prison of Words

    Kent Shaw
I remember the spring when there were only
    two days,
one they called promise, the other was compromise:
"I will" and "I won't ever again." You were the robin
    who waits
at my window, the spring is a sullen equation,
    & inside

there are the day lilies I dote on as though
    they were to be
my last vestige of a wet season.
I would rather be the budding leaf on a pear tree.
A memory set loose from what once was forgotten,

it is the way we consider what we inauspiciously
    refer to
as our future. One day we will be standing
I will watch the rain blow over the street. You
will have told me nothing, & it is only the warming

that can explain what we will expect or come
    to know
as spring - our faith shaken comme l'oubli ou les
    oubliettes des mots.

Kent Shaw is a student in the Washington University MFA program. His work has appeared in Natural Bridge and Delmar


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