Kevin Brown: I Wreck Myself

Trojan Temptation


Beauty doesn’t belong to one person. Everyone siphons

like cable. His long, smooth legs trample

through my wet dreams. From the waist up,

invisible. I wreck myself in the gym so men will pry me

open with their eyes. Their oyster knives will cut open

closed ridges, and expose flesh I call Helen.

It sings to launch thousands of ships more muscular

than mine, and burn their topless Ilium towers.

Revenge. Every man who looked through this thin

body, paper heart—war is revenge. Aphrodite, pluck me,

develop this beauty so I will know the electric rush—

being rationed to every muscle of every man.


homage to my legs

after Lucille Clifton


these legs stamp like horses.

they buck against men who try

to tame them.

they’re used to carrying

unnecessary weight.

they wrap around waists

when they’re lonely, and dance

when they’re not.

they run to and from

anyone who won’t let them bend.


Kevin Brown has been published in glassworks and Haiku Journal, and has work forthcoming in Juked. He recently graduated with my MFA in Writing at the University of San Francisco, and will shortly be traveling to teach English in Japan.