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
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.