In this stunning poem, Robert Siek uses unexpected similes to reveal both the sinister and the erotic lurking in the everyday.
The Power of Peacocks
Men with balled fists positioned on their hips,
like warriors peeing on enemy corpses.
I watch them in the mirror, side by side,
at ease, like soldiers in a latrine.
Step by step I approach the sink,
fixing my hair and leaning forward,
examining my eyebrows and smiling.
Like peacocks displaying their rear assortments,
like males competing for the nearest female
or protecting her as she walks in his shadow
beneath the spread blue green train of feathers,
they continue to urinate in silence.
No “Hi Joe” or “Hey Steve,” just heads facing the wall
like murals of battlefields were a foot ahead,
bold scenes—screaming figures—
appearing like wet dreams waiting to happen
or pre-teen boys dreaming of guns, shooting targets—
children staining bed sheets. I think, Is this how a killer pees?
then shake off water from my just-washed hands
like damp skin were an insult. I pinch my pants
and underwear, yank down, and allow room
for a hip movement, for my slight erection to fall into place—
so I can walk out in comfort, like nothing ever happened.
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Photo by: princessfoto /Flickr