I Know Hephaestus, It’s Tough Loving Love ||| Boston Review

No one could tell us how we ended up here. The definition of glass is obvious. It’s glass.
And we were‚ like‚ right inside it. A glass arm that had our arms inside. A glass hip.
Glass pupils to keep in our eyes.
It was thin glass. There was glass inside your knees. I was looking at you like‚ Be careful!
We had nothing to say. Or breathe even.

I would say we were intimate.
The video of a glass body‚ alone on a beach. Then another glass body enters the frame. That was you.
It almost seems like they’re going to make love.
But it’s just they are trying not to hear each other.

I’m pretty good at being a liar.
I drew a house. It was glass. And apparently‚ we’re inside.
I drew comfortable bedroom furniture. I drew an ink stain on the dresser.
If it was all glass‚ you would think it was just air. Circulating air.

I want to put you inside a cage.
I want to walk away‚ and then wait for you to figure out I left everything open.
Trust is best suffered through an unpredictable distance.

The city is unhealthy in general. We can see that. We knew that.
It’s all glass. We live in glass‚ within a glass house‚ within a glass bestiary.
There’s nowhere to look but inside‚ and it’s crowded.
Glass set on top of another glass object.
Glass rubbing together their glass parts without anyone watching.
All to say‚ I think I can see you while I make love. You’re supposed to be suffocating.


Kent Shaws work has appeared or is forthcoming in jubilat, Cincinnati Review, Oversound, and The Believer. His second book, Too Numerous, won the 2018 Juniper Prize and will be published by University of Massachusetts Press in 2019. He teaches English Literature and Creative Writing at Wheaton College in Massachusetts.

I Know Hephaestus, It’s Tough Loving Love” appeared in Boston Review in April of 2011.

Look for new work from Kent Shaw in TLR: Chemistry, the all-poetry issue, available now.