Call a man after a force of nature, a natural
disaster when disaster is another word
for that wreckage he carries on his bones.
Call him a catastrophe when he needs it
most, an avalanche heaved skyward
and down across all our chests. Never second guess
the weight of a man’s name. The earthquake
knows its seismic limits, its capacity for ruin
so far from where a man falls hard
on the inside and hides his injuries
behind a six-pack of beer and
a punch in the arm. Call a man for the shape
his body makes under the lights,
for that species of animal he pretended to be
before we discovered that calamity
lurking in his medical charts. Call him out
for all those tragic things he has done.
Hide from the back of his hand, that cruel mark
he will leave on your carcass. This life
is an accident, a pile of broken stones.
Men are prey to those shadows of everything
they have lost in life. Call a man whatever name
feels best in your mouth — call him injury,
emergency, father. Call him home.
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