ENDEPT
Sailesh Naidu

Be A Man

be a man
to be a man
these hands
these man hands
tough skin
and worn calluses
when did
you learn
to play
so rough
to build dams
in your eyes
your face
used to sprout flowers
fed by thunderous rainstorms
and lightning
that carved your name
into stone
do you remember                                       
your wrinkle water soaked
fingers in the sun
how soft they were
tender
like the bristly
bearded face
you used to
stroke up against

                   you used to
         find comfort in
         you used to
         find comfort in
                                       that

  

  

  

now you look away
                                         in a

                                                  cold
                                                  distant
                                                  stare

                                         and i
                                                  can’t
                                                  seem to see
                                                  the horizon
                                                  you long for

                 walking away with
                                                        pitter
                                                                   patter
                                                                                  footsteps
                                                                   and
                                                                                  clanking
                                                                                  armour

don’t you see
                 your skin
                                         longs to breath
                                                                   to be touched
                                                        to feel
                                                                   the rain again
when did you
                 become so
                 cautious
                                                                   with your embrace

                                                                                   your optimistic gaze

don’t you see

                          the forgotten garden around you

                                                                        the patches of dried grass

                                                                        the rustle of dried leaves


                          you sought comfort

                                                                                   in the tree

                          that grew here once

                                                                                   but its trunk

                                                                                   still stands

                          and                                                  I

                                                                                   lay

                                                                                   beneath

                                                                                   its branches


                          knowing that

                          you still drink

                                                                                   from an earth

that will not allow

you to know

                                                        drought

                          for I have seen

                                                                        wild untamed forests

                                                                                   fed by mothers

                                                                        and their

                                                                                   mothers before them

                                                                                   nurtured by femme

                                                                        and

                                                                                   femme bodies


                          and you can live a top

                                                                        a hill

reaching
          for
                    the
                              sky

                                        and
                                                  denying

                                                  yourself
                                                  the rain

but

                    i have seen

                                                                        deserts

                                                                        that still

                                                                        grow roses

and you can

                    convince yourself

                                                  you are an                island

                                                  but you’re
                                            surrounded

                                                  by the                   sea

and i will

not give up on

                    your

                              garden

                                        or on me

be a man
to be a man
these hands
these man hands
tough skin
and worn calluses

when did
you learn
to play
so rough

to build dams
in your eyes

your face
used to sprout flowers
fed by thunderous rainstorms
and lightning
that carved your name
into stone

do you remember
your wrinkle water soaked
fingers in the sun
how soft they were
tender

like the bristly
bearded face
you used to
stroke up against

         you used to
  find comfort in
  you used to
   find comfort in
                           that

  

  

  

now you look away
                          in a

                              cold
                              distant
                              stare

                          and i
                              can’t
                              seem to see
                              the horizon
                              you long for

       walking away with
                               pitter
                                         patter
                                                  footsteps
                                and
                                         clanking
                                                     armour

don’t you see
            your skin
                          longs to breath
                                      to be touched
                           to feel
                                         the rain again
when did you
          become so
          cautious
                         with your embrace

                                         your optimistic gaze

don’t you see

            the forgotten garden around you

                            the patches of dried grass

                             the rustle of dried leaves


            you sought comfort

                                         in the tree

             that grew here once

                                                     but its trunk

                                                     still stands

              and                                    I

                                                         lay

                                                        beneath

                                                       its branches


                          knowing that

                          you still drink

                                                from an earth

that will not allow

you to know

                                      drought

               for I have seen

                                         wild untamed forests

                                               fed by mothers

                                         and their

                                              mothers before them

                                              nurtured by femme

                                           and

                                              femme bodies


             and you can live a top

                                               a hill

reaching
          for
                    the
                              sky

                                        and
                                                  denying

                                                  yourself
                                                  the rain

but

                    i have seen

                                                 deserts

                                                 that still

                                                  grow roses

and you can

                    convince yourself

                                     you are an                island

                                                  but you’re
                                            surrounded

                                by the                   sea

and i will

not give up on

                    your

                              garden

                                        or on me

Sailesh Naidu

Sailesh Naidu

Sailesh Naidu

Sailesh Naidu
A poet, performance artist, and comedian based in Berlin, Germany. Born in the United States by way of India, Sailesh’s work delves into the ideas of gender, sexuality, decolonization, and the body.
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