From Childhood, We’ve Known

From childhood, we’ve known silence as our mother
tongue. As the dialect that refuses the pain and anxiety
of speech—the wanton privilege of a manhood
that interns the mind, and offers the body as altered
sacrifice, pubertied and quartered into form. From childhood,
we’ve known to seek acceptance; rejection, not a choice,
but a room of e-pacemakers & borrowed livers—men
who could never carry the world on their own, like Atlas.
Let boys be boys be blue. But men ought to be & to be less
vibrant; to shake not when the wind hits hard. To survive
the impatience of their sex, the refined brute of their kind,
& the deception beneath. From childhood, we’ve known to cry
only in the shower, in the sea and the dark. To drown in absence
of company; in solitude. To sink fast in quicksand & silence.
And when death finally comes at dusk, at midday, or by dawn,
only then would we adorn ourselves with garlands of roses,
in a box we’ve nurtured from cradle, from childhood.