Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SIZE OF IT, by TIMOTHY LIU

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THE SIZE OF IT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I knew the length of an average penis
Subject(s): Gays & Lesbians; Sexual Organs; Size & Shape; Homoeroticism; Lesbians; Gay Women; Gay Men; Sex Organs; Genitalia

I knew the length of an average penis
was five to seven inches, a fact
I learned upstairs in the stacks marked 610
or HQ, not down in the basement
where I knelt behind a toilet stall, waiting
for eight-and-a-half inches or more
to fill my mouth with a deeper truth. The heart
grows smaller, like a cut rose drying
in the sun. Back then I was only fourteen,
with four-and-three-quarters inches
at full erection. I began equating
Asian with inadequate, unable
to compete with others in the locker room
after an icy swim (a shriveled
but between my fingers as I tried to shake
some semblance of life back into it).
Three times a day, I jacked off faithfully, yet
nothing would enlarge my future, not
ads for vacuum pumps, nor ancient herbs. Other
men had to compensate, one billion
Chinese measured against what? Some said my cock
had a classical shape, and I longed
for the ruins of Greece. Others took it up
the ass, reassuring in their way,
yet nothing helped me much on my knees at night
praying one more inch would make me whole.

Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA
98368-0271, www.cc.press.org

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