This third collection from Smith (Appetite) is the kind of book one is tempted to call 'unflinching,' except that, in fact, the poems seem to flinch all over—to recoil, in a manner that is thrillingly moving, from their self-exposure. In plain-spoken poems that come starkly to terms with the early formation of a gay identity and the legacy of a painful family life, Smith finds pleasure in pain and pain in pleasure: 'My fist smashed the bone/ in his nose. A week before he'd stayed at my house,// tried to kiss me, touch my underwear.../.../ I like the way his lip opened under my fist./ I liked the way it felt to be a man.' Elsewhere, plenty of other demons are confronted, including suicidal tendencies ('Aaron Smith killed himself/ because he worried about parking./ I wish that was as funny as it sounds') and illness: "When you were sick/ I made a list of people I wished would die/ instead./.../ ...I didn't feel/ guilty or afraid. I knew words/ wouldn't change a thing." But the book circles back again and again to a father figure as reviled as he is beloved, a source of strength and pain. Smith struggles to clearly see himself and his relation to others in these poems; readers may find their paths illuminated by his flickering light.