Mick Theebs

p o e t r y

What is a Man Made Of?

Tennesse told me

muscle and blood and

skin and bone.

A man is made of

dirt and God’s secret recipe

according to some book clubs

who study their texts religiously.

Technically speaking

a man is made of

atoms and philosophically speaking

atoms are mostly empty space

so transitively speaking

a man is mostly made of

empty space but every man

I have ever met has always been

exceedingly good at taking up space,

that being the only defining feature for some.

Maybe nobody knows

and that’s why men

are constantly told to

show them what they’re made of

because they’re genuinely curious and

want to finally put that mystery to rest.

Every time they cut open a man and

take a look under the hood

they always find the same stuff

but perhaps what those enterprising minds

fail to consider is

this is a machine whose purpose

cannot be reversed engineered

and that by dismantling the man

you are extinguishing the very spark

that makes the whole thing go.

So you can remove the heart

and weigh it but

it’s just dead meat in that state and

will always always be heavier

than a feather

but if you were able to extract

the living heart of a man

and weight those savage desires

and frenzied dreams and

that silent boundless love

that fills him like a reservoir

and gives strength and vigor to his bones

and provides purpose to his life of

toil and pain

and empty spaces,

perhaps it would be

lighter than air.

Maybe that is what

a man is made of.

Or maybe what

a man is made of

cannot be measured.

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Mick Theebs is currently serving as the inaugural Poet Laureate of Milford, Connecticut. In addition to writing poetry, Mick enjoys cooking, hiking, and painting. He also runs the art website ALSO THAT. More of his poetry can be read in his collection titled Somnambulist. To stay up to date on Mick's snarky takes, follow him on Twitter @MickTheebs.

Photo Credit: Eric Lee Bowman