I want to tell you the third thing about the flower pot,
the first two things being obvious. The first,
that it is a flower pot. The second, that it is being held
overhead. And the third thing is your arm: a rocket launcher.
The fourth thing ends a tirade and maybe don’t leave a flower pot
there in the first place. The fifth thing could be a trick—Krazy Glueing
all of the furniture down, and the figurines, and the planters. But knees too sore
from cleaning, picking it all up.
The first thing was getting in really really close
to the face. The second thing was a wrist grab.
The third thing was being kicked down a set of stairs
at a friend's party.
The things that you said to the other direction. Look at me
when you're talking. Look at me when I'm talking to you.
The number one most thing was spit in the eye.
This is a story about three tall men. The first tall man had two tall men after him, one tall man came before him, and two tall men were his brothers and then me.
The second tall man's family status and personal details are unknown, aside from some golf memorabilia on his desk.
Tall men survey their domain, their desks, their cars, their emails, and their fantasy sports teams. Tall men tell me what to do all day.
“Will be getting into town around 2, so be ready to go.”
“Once you're done counting the cash, pile these boxes in the back.”
“Use a condom next time”
Which of these tall men hold financial power over me? One directly, one deferred, and one whom, through the socialist accounting of our health system, I am actually paying to look down at me. He will also look at me horizontally as I look into the eyes of a nurse who distracts me with small talk. In this moment the domain he surveys is my torso, or the domain is my unborn child.
Three tall men move through their days independently, dance through doorframes, duck as they get into their cars, stand comfortably with the mystery of the top of their heads. Tall men often have knee problems.
Tall men are married, that’s their fate. Tall men at work are unmoored from this, maybe it is that they need a woman’s head to lean on, like a bar ledge. In one of these scenarios, I am this bar ledge. I say “yeah I think the new sign looks great!” or “I agree that the other cafes in the neighbourhood are not as good as this one, they do not share your vision.”
Some days I think that I am a tall man. But the trappings of my assigned sex are persistent. I am a tall woman, and an average height man. I put on your size eleven shoes, and my men’s jeans, and cap. But still I appear to the world a woman too tired to be a woman today. Who will, upon work meeting, date, family wedding, return to being a woman. A fourth man would threaten the integrity of this story.
How tall is a man in a doorframe at night while you are sleeping? An angle cut so he is larger that the door itself. Any man at night is a tall thing, a length that a bedroom can’t contain. Short men become tall in scenarios like this, they play a part, however temporary.
I imagine a tall man laying on top of me, tips of my toes grazing his ankles, my nose and mouth smothered by his neck. I lust after men of my approximate proportions, born as near to me in years, whose clothes absorb seamlessly into my closet.
Tall men play basketball, a game in which a properly raised hand defines the action.
Kate Mildew is a writer, youth worker, and drummer based in Toronto. She writes and draws about money, disability, UFOs, rocks and more. Kate has self-published two comic books and half a dozen poetry zines and chapbooks. She has a story in the 'Music Men Ruined for Me' collection and poetry in issue 8 of FEELINGS Journal. Kate writes the monthly poetry newsletter Accumulation. More can be found at katemildew.com