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Alan King

Overhearing two guys in line
at Cluck U Chicken, daring each other
to order buffalo wings with 9-1-1 sauce
they’ll have to sign a waiver form for,
I can’t help but think how little we’ve seemed

to evolve from what once hunted with
throwing spears and settled their disputes

with a test of strength, or how testosterone
sometimes gangs up with other male hormones
and forms a militia to overthrow
the dictator, Common Sense. If this were
the 3rd Century, maybe the guys' antics

would entertain a crowd in the Roman Republic,
both of them swinging their spiked battle flails
and swords at each other, or at something

much higher up on the food chain.
When I watch the news of young boys killing
one another on the streets, it’s hard not to see
manhood as a Coliseum, where the condemned
and marginalized come to risk it all for a kind

of redemption; hard not to feel someone’s
laughing, jeering, and calling for blood.

Alan King

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