Geoffrey Brock

The Male Mantis

Let me explain in terms you’ll understand:

picture a boy who, starved for love, has planned

and executed another household crime,

and now his mother has discovered him


and glowers down from the bright ceiling where

her face is the dark sun, and the ear-whir

of fear and desire mounts, for soon she’ll speak

his name with passion and meet his pale dry cheek


with the full sail of her hand, loosing the tears

of shame and gratitude — all the boy cares

to know of bliss. And then forget his trauma

with its dysfunctional-family melodrama,


and think of me with her to whom all heads

bow as to the body’s harshest, best-loved gods.



“The Male Mantis” first appeared in Memorious 4, Spring 2005.