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What I Learned From the Incredible Hulk

Aimee Nezhukumatathil

What I Learned From the Incredible Hulk

BY 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)