Men sit in straight lines. They lean back, push their pelvis to the edge of their chair. They spread their legs so that they rest against the arms of the seat. Their one arm is crossed their heart, their hand holding a book, a phone. Their heads look down at their distractions. The slight crease between their eyebrows. Furrowed. Burrowed. Buried. Deep.

I could build that shape, out of two by fours. Each part is placed as if a woodworker’s composition.

Men do not sit like puzzles, they do not sit as if they are meant to hide. Their spines are held straight, even in poor posture, they seem like marionettes, held taut. Their own hands hold the strings of course. But they are guided. By what? By women, many say. Others say it is by other men, their fathers perhaps. And even fewer say it is by their own need to sacrifice.

They stand with tight backs and asses. Their chests are open, their hearts pumping life. Their heads look up, a smile or a look of slight amused boredom crosses their face depending on the circumstance. Their smiles are the best. They light a room. They don’t know.

Men hold themselves straight, a relic of their past as the strongest sex. They do not want to admit what they are afraid to lose. They do not want to admit that they are afraid they have already lost it.’

Men display their bellies proudly. The centre of feeling, of vulnerability, of their own emotional reserves is laid bare. Some men have such large reserves that they grow their bellies to account for the depth of feeling. They are proud of themselves, but they would puncture horribly, blood curdling down their sides, too much love to let it run smooth.

Men hold their feelings down in their intestines at gunpoint, they do not let the feeling spread to their fingertips, to their toes. The flexibility of feeling does not allow such unnecessary enigmas. They have instead made themselves a self-destruct button, a place to push if in need of an explosion, a secret garden of the self to show their lovers at night time.

It is a myth that men are closed off. They are always held open. They could be stabbed right in their hearts. They could be skewered in the stomach. Plunged through.

Men don’t know. Their strength. To hold their stomachs open, to open their chest to the world. That was always their strongest point. They lose nothing.

They are impoverished by the lack of marketing. Empowerment too feminine a word. They wait for a world where they will need to be empowered. Where their own feelings will take political foreground. Not knowing that the farce of mass-produced empowerment will suck them dry. Marrow empty. Stomachs left with lead to digest. No blood will run.

Can’t they see? They have always held power. They have always held love. They have always and will always hold the strength that makes people draw near. They will always be doers, lovers, artists, makers, shakers, breakers, givers, takers. They lose nothing they do not misplace themselves.

As if the world doesn’t know. As if we don’t know. Don’t tell us you have forgotten yourself.

Photo by Mario Terzoli

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