p
o
e
m
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, most recently, The Book of Daniel. He is associate professor of creative writing at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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