the language we learn

April 22, 2019

I.
masculinity
doesn’t have
to be toxic,
but some men
choose to put
poison
on their
tongue.

foaming
at the mouth
before flinging
unholy thoughts
into action.
hungry for prey,
licking their lips
as biting words
draw blood.

women do nothing
to feed
this venom.
porn and
pop culture
evolved
from paper cuts
to pixels
as men
learned negative language
and
spread it
around
like
a virus.

II.
the first time
I put poison
on my tongue,
I did not
notice
the taste.
the shared language
of youth
stuck
to the roof
of my mouth.
it was the
bad breath
of boys around me,
leaving an
aroma of adolescence,
ignoring the lessons
of our fathers.

III.
the men
that I know
are repulsed
by the taste
of poison.
we are hungry
for
clarification
over contamination,
adjectives
that no longer
melt from objects
to people.
simply put,
we’ve freed
ourselves
from the pollution
of the mind.

but,
to all of the women
who have been sexualized,
we
apologize.

to all of the women
I have sexualized,
I
apologize.