On Calling Ourselves Men

On Calling Ourselves Men

On Calling Ourselves Men 1920 1440 David Hanlon

Finger joints curling

back into     themselves

tucking away vulnerability

knuckles   bloodthirsty   canines

jagged mountaintops

volcanic uppercuts

we reach

alpha heights

Thunder-

crack sharp thump

sledgehammer-

blunt thwack

heads faces     bust

watermelons     split

flesh     hot

cooking oil   sizzle   spit

scarlet

splatter

stretched

skin valleys through the in between

where the rest of the blood flows

Me   a swimmer
wading in those target-red waters
small hands   flat-palmed   unfolded

fingers brittle

burnt   matchsticks

arms rolled   dough thin

pushed under

unable to muscle

through bicep waves

Adequacy

the rope I couldn’t climb in PE

What if I

hanging at the bottom

suspended     in the air

two feet from the ground

called them over

tapped cushion-soft

all their bone-made   cliff edges together

would their fists   open

like warbling mouths

unfold

into wing-spread doves?

Delivering seahorses?

Then   would we all

applaud

and call ourselves     men?

Header photograph © Chris Nielsen.

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