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I Concede the Point, I Concede the Point, I Concede the Point

A Man is a flesh monster with a mouthful of teeth in his scrotum. Haven’t you seen the mouth of a man? I know it’s there because when a man told me he thought my vagina had teeth, I wondered how a person could come to think such a thing.

When I love a man it’s like watching a wrestling match on the beach. We’re standing at the rope and there are our mouths jaw-locked and tussling like badgers without bodies.

A Man called me a man-hater once. I didn’t hate men before, but I did after. Before, a man made me dolorous, now A Man is invigorating. Thanks, I thank you for this.

There was a time when A Man called me a man-eater. I am very fond of that appellation. You have no idea.

Even though people talk about rape as a matter of course, I was a woman with eye teeth before I understood that they might be talking about me. A Man on the front porch of a frat called out, “Why don’t you come up here and get raped!” A Man laughed. A Man waited for another woman to walk on the sidewalk. A Man tried his joke again. “Why don’t you come up here and get raped!” A Man thinks he’s clever.

A Man is staggering out of the bar on game day to catcall me across the street and then he is answering the aggression of my old-lady scolding glare with a hand pumping his own crotch. A Man walking next to me on game day gets so hung up on his personal experiences that he desperately wants to explain this misbehavior as boyish and age-appropriate. A Man can’t get his mind around the fact that I do not care to give a fuck about A Man again, beyond figuring out how to make him and his friends feel a shame so great they start to wonder if they aren’t fourteen-year-old girls sent by the teacher to the confessional because of a list found in some boy’s locker.

Ever since I started itching for A Man passing me on the street to say “Smile, honey” just one more time, men have taken up demure nodding. A Man can tell when a woman is looking for an opportunity.

A Man is candid. A Man is live-action. A Man thinks he doesn’t have a fleshy hairball of teeth. But I can hear them clicking down there. A Man thinks he knows where he’s keeping his tongue. It’s not for me to argue with A Man about where he imagines he’s put it.

from The End of Pink

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2016
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

Published in Kathryn Nuernberger Poems

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