After Snodgrass’ “After Experience Taught Me”
Women are known to spend as much time
prepping for the activity as participating in it
Loping into the room thick liquor in his ether
the smile clenches quickly at his sight of her little hands.
thus there is no surprise that the stats of university
sports teams outrank the stats of violence against
His girl, six years old, fingernails painted
red. And red is the color his face
women. Girls gotta get good and
lovely, and these same girls get good looks
turns against the age. He growls
at her, knocking over the tin pail of colored pencils
from the boys who can’t control it.
And beauty is something women are born knowing
How dare she let you do this? He screams
at his ex-wife (absent), his daughter (present),
takes time and effort. And that same beauty
they praise, and pray for is its own danger.
his own knowledge of boys infinite desire
everywhere. To quell this, he picks her up, now
This is no reason to cut it out, to cover
the light of existence. But girls must know
crying, bringing her to the bathroom
slamming open doors to cabinets for the liquid
that the short skirt, red lips, night vision
they portray is enough
polish remover: These nails will not be painted!
He shouts, and she cries, and his shouts turn to cries.
for some men to forget that what they see
is a person, not a picture.
And she is not beautiful, not a magnet
for eyes of other men (yet), nothing besides
a sexless little girl, with fingers pale as pearl.