Flaunting his gym-toned pectorals,
washboard stomach, fashion-
conscious locks, he worked the image
of philanderer, every woman’s
fantasy or threat.

But something tremulous inside
his gravelly baritone exposed
a small boy quivering in the dark,
his mother dead, his father gone away,
groping for explanations.

from I been there, sort of: New and Selected Poems (Carcanet, 2006), copyright Mervyn Morris 2006, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

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