Another Essay On Man
I look to men descending escalators
as I pass ascending though I know
we’re headed for the same lot – to their shoulders,
bridges braced by pylons sunken into
pockets, strained with shopping bags or angled
to accept a toddler’s fingers. Look
to men downstream on rocks with rebound
women, stealing slugs off beer cans
in the sun. To men in libraries
discerning what the day might bring,
their eyebrows my horizons’ furthest
forests. I look left and right of men
at lockers at the Y, and catalog
their daily small complaints: bum knee, a son
who’s changing majors, leaky roof and all
these goddamn meetings.
I profess to look at mirrors, check
my phone for dates and times and women’s words,
but sneak a glance at men in deep-fried
bars before a wall of dancing
screens, in clearance sections wading
into lowland towns of plaid,
men in the waiting room wondering
what will be asked. I want to ask them
how they came this way, how they got over,
what to stomach, when to dig in heels.
Who did they look to when the lines
were drawn then scuffed with windblown
sands, when the bottle was dry then
smashed to glassy stars, who told them
that the job was theirs to lose, to just
look busy knowing where to go.
Noah Kucij lives in South Carolina. Recent work appears in Verse Daily, Slipstream, Storm Cellar, and Old School Record Review.
Maureen Alsop, Ph.D. Is the author of three poetry books, most recently Later, Knives & Trees. Her visual works have appeared at Journal of Compressed Arts, Drunken Boat, Superstition Review, and Otolith.