anaphora       penises


I disagree with you on this
one small point      the time you said   of penises
when youve seen one youve seen them all I think 

you’re wrong      each one is fingerprint unique
each with its own way of being in the world
shy or all bravado or statesmanlike

it’s not size   though you can feel each one trying
to push itself upright   like a schoolboy
hoping to be called on to give an answer

it’s smaller things   the smell of each one   the way
the day can linger there   beneath the slim lips
of the foreskin   each with its own direction

each with its own personality   its own
way of introducing itself   each of them
a personal totem for the bearer

each its own low pendulum marking the passing
of each year with its own minutiae
of successes/changes/health scares      each one

of singular importance to each singular
man   each treasured and wept for and prone
to misjudgement   and not to be trusted









the sound of hair being ripped out
reminded me of velcro shoes
being hastily removed      I hadn’t
realised it possible
that I might grow into kinder
ownership of my own looks
that I could   one day   have been fine
with baldness   but it seemed to me
at seventeen that I was being
unmanned   and that my unlived youth
was already receding
so I paid a doctor thousands
to take a strip of hair from the back
of my head   pull out each follicle
and put them into the front
to give me the line I thought would
make me happy   and stitch the skin
on the back of the skull together
leaving me with this grimace
this equator   this scar
that catches the cold weather   hold
sit deep inside   reminder
of my vanity   tideline
of Canute   tattoo of the time
I couldn’t live with what I was becoming




Photograph © telomi

The Break-up of the Ice