p
o
e
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s

I worked in an office where we hired a good-looking man.

It paid off in the hot tub at the office retreat.

What’s on the inside might get you a job

unless someone who is pretty is pretty on the inside.

I follow too many studs on Instagram, guys flexing

with coffee cups in the morning, guys flexing by the pool,

or candid photos in bathrooms, shirts raised.

I tell my students it was hard to leave modeling.

They don’t know if they should laugh,

and when they do laugh I ask why they’re laughing.

When did poetry become youth culture,

curated personas, unrevised, and everyone

saying they’re brilliant? The hottest guys post

the dumbest quotes: You won’t reach your goals from the couch.

I post: You won’t reach your goals without genetics and money.

I stood behind men at McDonald’s

trying to take their pictures without getting caught.

I wanted to text them to Brendan.

All I could get was a thick-shouldered back

not a perfectly-angled face.

It was a male model convention with value meals.

It was Poetry.

Aaron Smith is the author of four books of poetry, including the forthcoming The Book of Daniel.

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