I’ll tell you how to be the perfect man:
You do a perfect imitation
Of someone who would hesitate
To let the real you through the door.
You’ll need to smile and nod, smell decent, plan
At least one slideshow-worthy week’s vacation,
Lug brats to ballgames and stay late,
Skip nightcaps, and never mind
That you don’t know what it’s all for
Or that you often want to be unkind,

To rage and fart and sacrifice young virgins
To the archaic gods of lust,
To backpack through Tajikistan
And waste a decade, hashish-high,
To bid goodbye forever to those urchins
Crushing you with their mewls and sour-milk must
Because that’s not the perfect man;
That’s simply you, the you
You have to lock down like a spy.
Surveillance. Styptic lights. A tray with two

Syringes: one for truth, and one for after.
Pray your deceptive captive—skilled,
Unscrupulous—won’t slit his way
Out of that bunker buried deep
While you, awash in cocktail party laughter,
Hear nothing of the keeper that he’s killed
Or trackers that he’s sent astray.
Pray he won’t make it through
The door to where your loved ones sleep.
Pray that he’s only coming home to you.

—Stephen Kampa