What I Learned From the Incredible Hulk

By Aimee Nezhukumatathil Aimee Nezhukumatathil
When it comes to clothes, make
an allowance for the unexpected.
Be sure the spare in the trunk
of your station wagon with wood paneling
 
isn’t in need of repair. A simple jean jacket
says Hey, if you aren’t trying to smuggle
rare Incan coins through this peaceful
little town and kidnap the local orphan,
 
I can be one heck of a mellow kinda guy.
But no matter how angry a man gets, a smile
and a soft stroke on his bicep can work
wonders. I learned that male chests
 
also have nipples, warm and established—
green doesn’t always mean envy.
It’s the meadows full of clover
and chicory the Hulk seeks for rest, a return
 
to normal. And sometimes, a woman
gets to go with him, her tiny hands
correcting his rumpled hair, the cuts
in his hand. Green is the space between
 
water and sun, cover for a quiet man,
each rib shuttling drops of liquid light.

Aimee Nezhukumatathil, "What I Learned from the Incredible Hulk" from Miracle Fruit. Copyright © 2003 by Aimee Nezhukumatathil.  Reprinted by permission of Tupelo Press.

Source: Miracle Fruit (Tupelo Press, 2003)

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Poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Subjects Relationships, Men & Women, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture

 Aimee  Nezhukumatathil

Biography

Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of Miracle Fruit (2003), winner of the ForeWord Magazine Poetry Book of the Year and the Global Filipino Literary Award; At the Drive-In Volcano (2007), winner of the Balcones Prize; and Lucky Fish (2011). Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, FIELD, and American Poetry Review. Her honors and awards include a Pushcart Prize and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is . . .

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SUBJECT Relationships, Men & Women, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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