Boys Are Always Trying by Patrick Kindig

by JHow on December 7, 2017

in Announcements, Bonus Content, Poetry


Photo by 38 Degrees

Associate editor John LaPine on today’s bonus poem: Patrick Kindig’s poem is a vital inquisition into masculine self-expression. Why do we change? Who are we to think we can try to stop others from changing? And is it really change if we all get the same haircut?

boys are always trying

to cut off their curls
says my stylist
at great clips
& there is something
so sad in the way
she says it that i want
to rip off my poncho
& shout STOP shout
of course they can’t
my lap is already full
of hair & growing
fuller all my curls
heaped between
my knees now or
about to be & when
the clippers slip
across my left
temple leaving me
clean & crewcut
my stylist sighs
takes a moment
to shake her wrist
& in this moment i look
at her & wonder
who else’s curls
she has cut off if she
cuts the hair of all
her boyfriends & all
her boyfriends
want crewcuts
if every time she falls
for someone she looks
at his head & thinks
yes this is the one
until two weeks later
he pops the wrong
question & she
is sweeping the kitchen
at midnight again
washing hair like
rose-tongues from
between her fingers

Patrick Kindig is currently a PhD candidate at Indiana University, where we works with nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature. He is the author of the micro-chapbook Dry Spell (Porkbelly Press 2016), and his poems have appeared in Court Green, Willow Springs, Meridian, Columbia Journal Online, Muzzle, and other journals.

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