The Villain

does not eat people like air.
The Villain in this poem 
does not understand what that
sentence means. The Villain
has an eighth grade education,
but his wife earned two 
PhDs. She tells him the system
is broken, but neither of
them know if there is any 
tangible way to fix it. 
The Villain contemplates 
going back to high school,
but neither he nor his brain
could pass for fifteen.
The Villain is not textbook
smart. He spent the bulk
of his life either homeless
or underpaid and they don’t
make prizefighters that way
anymore, now do they?

— Poetry
 — forthcoming, No Surrender
 — (Penguin, 2018)
 — republished, Missouri Review

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