he tells me how men are made.
first, by breaking everything gentle that ever had a chance to grow towards the light.
as if a man was never grown below a woman’s heart.
then, by searing
the scars with
there are things that he still cannot
his words own him.
but sometimes at night he allows himself to feel everything
that will not leave
it lives there.
large and silent.
this, is how men are made
by other men.
later, i tell my son
who still has sunshine and softness living inside his mouth, that
all his words are naked when they climb up his throat.
they are not to be dressed up,
before they fall like stars
from his tongue.
this is how his heart will walk out of his mouth, one day.
i am building a man, too.
— let me show you how to let your heart walk out of your mouth.
© Liezel Graham 2019.
Photograph by Kat Jayne.