Neanderthal Man

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It seems when I was little
I used to ask my mom “what is difficult – shaving every day

Or giving birth?”. My mom used to laugh at that.
Seemingly she knew from experience and the lack of it.

I on the other hand, do hard labor in front of the mirror
The stubs are thick as a grove of green bamboo

And even the hairs on the edges of elastic cartilages
Are fertilized by nature and I have to use a trimmer

To make them of little stature. Shaving was my life sentence.
My penance for an inheritance of over-spiked testosterone

The poison that makes hair follicles fall and others grow on the chest
And on the upper back between your shoulders

And that’s what makes me a man. The comb, the razor, the trimmer
After shave and shaving foam, my grooming kit

And the hairs which grow all over. The jungles that insulate me.
And makes me a wookiee or an orangutan sheared by evolution.

And my hair – of the lack of it – is what makes me unique.
Like Darwin, Santa Clause, Che and a host of others

Who were defined by their facial hair. I too will be
Defined as the mad man who refuses to shave every day

And makes a little sprouted undergrowth my own
Signature. I’m not one for the clean shaven. I just don’t care

How I look. I’m just like a Neanderthal, hard around the edges
And soft at the center, like a Rambutttan inside out.

And you need to perforate my shell to find the real me.
A man who doesn’t live by societal rules.

Someone who loved in impunity, not in the way society dictates.
I loved not for the love of love, for the endearing love of

One woman, macerated in skin and heart
Made into a vintage wine.

Like grape must filled into a pear-shaped bottle
And aged for an eternity.

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Published by

meandererworld (Dilantha Gunawardana)

Dr Dilantha Gunawardana is a molecular biologist, who graduated from the University of Melbourne. He moonlights as a poet. Dilantha wrote his first poem at the ripe age of 32 and now has more than 1700 poems on his blog. His poems have been accepted/published in Forage, Kitaab, Eastlit, American Journal of Poetry and Ravens Perch, among others. He was also awarded the prize for "The emerging writer of the year - 2016" in the Godage National Literary Awards, Sri Lanka for his first collection of poems (Kite Dreams – A Sarasavi Publication), while being shortlisted for the poetry prize. Dilantha is a dual citizen of Sri Lanka and Australia, and shares his experiences from two different cultures. He blogs at - https://meandererworld. wordpress.com/

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