My dad said “walk like a man”
I did, step by step, until my shoulders were broad
And the spinal column was like the Eiffel
As I discovered the masculinity of my walk
And then my coach said “play like a man”
And I played every sport
With the gush of my heart and the gale of my spirit
Until my wrists were steel and my calves were pillars
And years after my wife said “be the best man you can be”
And I became the breadwinner
Toiling from 9 to 5 for a meager paycheck
After all my Ph.D. meant I was entitled to peanuts
And two years after, inside a fluorescent room
I held my daughter for the first time
Wrapped in filth and umbilical cord
When I felt my testicles rising and my pecs softening
Still I couldn’t turn gushing blood to seeping milk
Nor did I ever carry a fetus inside a womb
Yet I now held what I had pushed inside
A tunnel of miracles and a place of beautiful odds
After all you’re always a man making love
But only shades of one gazing at what love made
When sperm donor fades to his own metamorphosis
To discover his own forgotten eunuch
Dripping testosterone through his eyes.



Author: meandererworld (Dilantha Gunawardana)

Dr Dilantha Gunawardana is a molecular biologist who graduated from the University of Melbourne. He moonlights as a poet. His poems have been accepted/published in Forage, American Journal of Poetry, Kitaab, Eastlit and Ravens Perch. He mixes science with poetry for a living, when what matters is the expression of both DNA and words into something serendipitous. Although an Australian citizen, Dilantha is domiciled in Sri Lanka, his country of birth.

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