Literary Magazine

He Wants to Read Me | Stewart Shaw

Daddy is calling from the other side Or wherever daddies call from When their echoes cease.

I am paper
Thin and unread, He calls

to set my edges Ablaze, to see how fast I burn.

He wants to read
Me, calls me cocksucker. I smile
An orphaned smile
Think there is something
Subversive and powerful in knowing oneself. He Never smiles in my visions.

My older brother got his name.
Space and questions and a need for closeness My birthright.
I still navigate ancestral
Waters, still
let him call me
Names, let

Shaw is a Librarian for an urban West Coast public library. He has traveled internationally attending writing conferences in various African nations. His poems have been published in Black Arts Quarterly, Temenos Literary Journal, The Missing Slate, upcoming in the African American Review as well as a short story in Mighty Real: An Anthology of African American Same Gender Loving Writing. He is a Cave Canem Poetry Fellow.