Man Poem


Kenji Liu

Let’s fold maps so our places can meet—
my muscles have been everywhere.

I should be at the batting cages.
I should be cheering for America.

I point at home and ride the other way.
I should drink more cheap beer.

A docile body is one that may be subjected,
used, transformed, and improved.

Real men win with knowing looks,
with killer strut.

I like them. I like to be them.

Between these four corners
there’s a catwalk. I show off my moves.

Up and down a graveyard
of cheerleaders.

I can fill every athletic cup
with my cowboy theme park.

Bricks and knuckles.
Sand and eyelids.

This docile body can only be achieved
through strict regiment of disciplinary acts.

These are battlefields I have built.
Do you like what I’ve done with my craters?

Department of Homeland Security
likes them. Wants to be in them.

I should be grilling chicken sausages.
I should be wiggling my pecs.

Oh Hummer, let’s find
a Smart car to flip.

Let’s watch the game so I can
blow my new volcano.

Ashes and lungs.
Sawdust and long, long tongues.


* * *


If you'd like to read more of Liu's poetry,
please purchase your copy of TAYO Five today: