You bring out the man in me
The muscle and the sinew of me
The ripping forearms and
The sweat-dotted brow of me.
You bring out the musk and the male
The husk and the hewn
Firmness of the flesh of the thigh of me
You bring to awakening my torrid heat
My tenuous passion meets its peak
At the head of your compulsions.
The yin bereft of yang,
The masculine frisson of an oestrogen-free me
You bring out the Marlon Brando in me.
The swagger and the sway
The boot-dragging gait of a man
Who ignores the insouciance of female wiles.
You bring out the caviar trailing belly button licking cavalier in me.
The charlatan and dandy in me,
The lumberjack and tattooed warrior,
You bring out the gentleman in me.
The gentle poet of the moors
In me. In me
There is the body I recognise but cannot call my own
When pressed against your body that I know and call my own.
In me there is a man, there are ten,
A fifty hundred thousand men—your lovers;
Lovers of you in me.
You bring out the man in me.
Shaving soap-scented and scruffed jawl,
A chest wide as a trunk
For you to keep your dresses in
To hold your fists against
To bury your face into
To say things not meant for hearing
To rest, to wait. To un-hurry.
This chest, your man, your me.
*This poem is deeply inspired in form, delivery, and tenor from the original by Sandra Cisneros titled, “You bring out the Mexican in me”, from her anthology titled “Loose Women”, 1994.
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