His chin-hair hardened like enamel
from meat and bone-blood, says:
This is how man was.
With all of my weight on you
I want you to feel how man was:
Take the whole plate into your mouth and see
what becomes two things not meant to touch each other.
Allison Eir Jenks’ first book, The Palace of Bones, won the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize, published by Ohio University Press. She is founder of the organization Poets at Work and has a PhD in poetry from Florida State University. She has published poems in New Letters, Poetry, Michigan Quarterly Review, Willow Springs, and Gulf Coast, among others.
“The Bearded Man” was originally published in Street Cred (TLR, 2015)