Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.

If I Was A Man

If there’s one thing you can’t lose
It’s that Feel

-Tom Waits
If I was a man, I’d write about how the bottle
is my left hand, because my right is busy –
I’ve known so many girls
and while the names are different,
to me their faces are all the same,
hazy, open-mouthed, and six inches from my face.
I’d write about my testicles like they’re some sort of cancer,
sorry Baby, the treatment is to move on.
I’d write about my testicles like they’re crazy ex-lovers,
sorry Baby, they’re something you can’t deny.
I’d write about them, I’d sing about them, preach about them
until the bourbon and the lyrics made my voice raw like Tom Waits.
And then I’d sing you a sweet love song
with all the pain of the world,
I lost you of my own manly ill, sorry Baby, sorry Baby,
the only cure is to amble on.
I’d practice my sad lonesome eyes. I’d learn train songs
and whiskey songs and cheatin’ songs and learn to strike them
on a dime store guitar. I’d learn the sex of a Ramblin’ Man,
heart-heady and all self-destruct. Orgasms would be
long-stretched roads and you’d touch me
with the feel of already-gone.
I’d whisper their faces are all the same, Baby, but yours
yours is something special, when I leave in the morning
remind me of your name.
I’m not a man. I hide my bottles in the freezer, they are more
like fingers. I do penance by denying drink,
I do fifties house wife by sipping water while I cook.
I don’t write about the itch of my balls, like the metaphor
we all know about the itch on my soul. I settle for love
poems, I settle for bones and bruises and holes in my heart.
I don’t write about how I make love to myself
my mouth open in the shower.
I don’t write about how I cure myself ambling on.
Rhiannon ThorneRhiannon Thorne’s work has appeared/is forthcoming most recently in Foundling Review, Midwest Quarterly, Words Dance, and The Doctor TJ Eckleburg Review. She edits the online publication cahoodaloodaling and may be reached at

Categories: Poetry

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1 reply

  1. Reblogged this on Rhiannon Thorne and commented:
    Best of the Net nominee 2014:

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