Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
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Some Men

Men who’ve kissed with passion the full lips
of women they didn’t love, men

who’ve grown too reticent for the confessional,
who’ve cleaned public restrooms,

wiped menstrual blood from their walls, who’ve written—
then scrubbed off—vile graffiti from the rusting doors

of shithouse stalls. Men who’ve grown
enormous with disregard, rolls of it bellying over

their wide belts. Men who’ve been barbers
of the dead and were happy for the work,

men who’ve become what they’ve microwaved,
who overvalue the quality of their erections

and fawn over them like the town’s new Walmart.
Men who look awful in suits, who’ve been there

and back yet grew impatient, men who go to wakes
to keep up appearances, who’ve made a deal

with God but can’t remember the terms, men who are old
pros when it comes to hospitals and cracking

jokes at the nurses’ expense, men who’ll be at
your funeral, who’ll kiss your widow with passion

and keep everyone’s lips flapping. Men who’ll move
in and disinfect your bathroom, who’ll trim nose hair

at your sink, conjure mythic hard-ons they’ll purchase
at Walmart. Men who’ll kiss your wife

damned hard on the mouth, take off her dress,
and have your Sunday suit altered and pressed.  

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