He, the Trained

by Tim Neil

I don’t mean to say that men are pitbulls / but the nature / of them is the same / as the nature / of categories / flawed / at times to the root / of horror and red / rivers so deep / there is no walking / but wading through the world / and I am not free / of blemishes and character marks / but I am more river / than river-maker / so I claim the stain / of those like me / slain before safety / could be lightly promised / in certain lands / if I did not / it would betray / every child who yearned / to wear cheap barrettes / in their boyish hair / and floral dresses / to pre-k / I am not the savior / of the he’s / I cannot live / a lie to redefine / what a he can be / he’s need to save / himselves and dam / the river of the rest / of us because men / are not pitbulls / I have been loved / by the dogs / because they want / to love unless / they are trained to not / and often / those ones are trained / by the men / trained by men

Tim Neil is an actor and poet from Baltimore, MD. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poet Lore, Washington Square Review, Los Angeles Review, and Ligeia.

Artwork by: James Fitzgerald