We’ve been isolated from the girls
to learn our bodies. Our desks harder
than our hairless asses. They shudder
beneath us when Mr. Griffey fingers
the 16mm reel. He mumbles directions
to himself, orders Danny S. to pull
down the white screen. We swell
into concentration as grainy scenes
flicker past our heads. The projector’s
clatter surrounds us like criminals:
narrated cross-section of the testicles,
the animated penis a cruel reminder
of our fathers. Strange men we’ve seen
through cracked doors. Their nude
bodies a revelation, a portrait of manhood
larger than anything we could imagine.
Banana Republic Politick
Damn these stacks of argyle I can’t have
just one merino wool V-neck beauty
on my shelves & shoulders fitted cotton crew
I bought more & saved these pretty white boys
are irresistibly high cheek bones my fantasy
factory on display as salespeople who know
what I need is more boot cut slim fit French
cuff stretch my BR card til no more poplin
fits my need-gene inseam button fly
straight leg indigo relaxed light brain
Men Watching Men
—El Gato Negro Bar
I’m not drunk
enough so I order one
more bottle. He shoves
a lime down its throat
& I see myself
surrounded by men
who watch the night
in a mirror
behind the bar.
with purpose, pretending
courage is something
we can suck in.
Click of the jukebox
& the treble
cuts the air. A man
holds his woman
tight enough to feel her
cock press his belly.
Dance floor strobe light
captures their bodies.
Her cheek on his
shoulder, her breath
on our necks.
These peoms are from My Kill Adore Him (Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, University of Notre Dame Press, 2009).
© Copyright 2009 Paul Martínez Pompa