Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Thirty-eight
Summer 2015
The Man You Thought I Was
Alejandro Escudé

Rank insists. The moaning
between the dress shoes, like poverty
but smokier—residue of souls
and presentations; there are moments
when the sideline story worked,
now it’s a robbery at a delicatessen.
Flattery. Yellow cones. Shaped
leviathans, two mouths: one open,
one closed. The sport of kings.
One present, the other a distorted
being lost in the memetic chest,
the one she brought along yesterday
and then promptly forgot.
What to do about the birdbrained
drama, the one that sets it apart,
the cyclone and the flywheel?
Whatever maps exist between humans
are not maps, but grapevines
growing upside down, into a hell
-like landscape, not hell, as if
there were a choice in mythology.
Watch them shift around like
short, shadowy trees, melancholic
though pretending not to be,
egocentric though hiding it more
than the egocentric, the trick being
always to merely insinuate
disagreement, lackluster truth,
a molding of principles without
the cupcake principles. Prettiness
and handsomeness, hair-length,
height, and clothes—I join
the rankists at their gummy games
and have my fun. I am the man
you thought I was not and
was. Or the other way around.

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