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Why the Young Men Are So Ugly

 They have little tractors in their blood
and all day the tractors climb up and down
inside their arms and legs, their
collarbones and heads.
That is why they yell and scream and slam the barbells down into their clanking slots, making the metal ring like sledgehammers on iron, like dungeon prisoners rattling their chains.
That is why they shriek their tires at the stopsign, why they turn the base up on the stereo until it shakes the traffic light, until it dryhumps the eardrum of the crossing guard.
Testosterone is a drug, and they say No, No, No until they are overwhelmed and punch their buddy in the face for joy, or make a joke about gravy and bottomless holes to a middle-aged waitress who is gently setting down the plate in front of them.
If they are grotesque, if what they say and do is often nothing more than a kind of psychopathic fart, it is only because of the tractors, the tractors in their blood, revving their engines, chewing up the turf inside their arteries and veins It is the testosterone tractor constantly climbing the mudhill of the world and dragging the young man behind it by a chain around his leg.
In the stink and the noise, in the clouds of filthy exhaust is where they live.
It is the tractors that make them what they are.
While they make being a man look like a disease.

Poem by Tony Hoagland
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