David Passey Maybe you don't know but a man has more than blood ticking in his machine; he has fear. With women it is not the same. The thickness of his wrists, the dumb strength of his hands and heavy shoulders, he wonders what next will crumble beneath the pressure of his fingers. The sandstone of his jaw— this is not the oval face, the quick wren of a boy who spoke your name from the lilacs of your seventeenth birthday. The stuck lid of the pickle jar stayed stuck in his fists, but the jar, the very jar itself shattered. Just yesterday he bent his back and heaved your car from the hissing ditch, and the strength of him— that back, the thick legs. It is this he fears. And so, when he circles you in love and your ribs strain like timbers, do not cry out. Instead, pull his face to your neck, feel the wool of his breath on your throat and speak to him in murmurs of the highways you see rising from his palms, the cities from his bones.