Aaron Coleman

Surrender is a cold rain.

                        Prone red leaves— our veined backs bowing
            to the end—                            we lie down in bed, me next
                           to her, I teach my hand rest                     in her hand. She speaks above us
  up into the ceiling, breathes     pearl blue                                                                  winter
                          past and through        my palm, says:
                                                                           there’s an aperture where
                                                         your fate line
                                                                      shudders, it looks
                                                         like a wall
                                                                        of falling water. I watch the angles
of a spider and whatever
            crosses her night window:      pause and climb, pause
and climb—
                                             Your heart line leans
                                                                       long as the angle of a cave
                                                closing itself in
                                                                       pitch blackness, a blindness
                                                full of echoes.
                                                                  Who’s praying                    screaming
alone? I remain                  attentive, calm—felled                     moon and moonlight
                     because I cannot                        hear her.
                                     Distance holds           a forest in her eyes.
That’s all I know.
                                   Your head line is slicksweet,
                                                                  is the purple tentacle           of the octopus
                                                                             you ate in the heat
                                                of a market                          far from home.
                                                               Your fault line— What I am
drips and smears, the weight of want                              shadows our bones. I watch
                                                  the thin promise of her mouth. My hand
              still in her hand, I watch her pain              slip open, become a clutch of tendrils
burrowed in my own. Touch happens when I stop
                                     wondering what a man and woman do                 with power.

Aaron Coleman is the author of St. Trigger, which won the 2015 Button Poetry Chapbook Prize, and Threat Come Close (Four Way Books, forthcoming 2018). A Fulbright Scholar and Cave Canem fellow from Metro-Detroit, Aaron has lived and worked with youth in locations including Kalamazoo, Chicago, St. Louis, Spain, and South Africa. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Apogee, Boston Review, Fence, Southern Humanities Review, and elsewhere. Winner of the Tupelo Quarterly Poetry Contest and The Cincinnati Review Robert and Adele Schiff Award, Aaron is currently a Chancellor’s Graduate Fellow in Washington University and St. Louis’ Comparative Literature PhD program.




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