You have heard it said
a man, no matter the stature,
puts his pants on
one leg at a time.

I object.

Some men have never
slipped on pants,
as you and I
have dressed.

Take Kasavubu,
who leapt into
the 60-inch boundary of his waistband
with both feet
as though his slacks
were a pool.

Or the Belgian king’s creases
whetted saber-sharp, so sharp
he distanced himself
from all his subjects.

Mobutu went commando,
balls jockeying the khaki.

Let me tell you
a little secret:

on September 11th,
I saw your President Bush
throw his trousers over his head,
slip his arms into the gray legs,

and jaunt to the schoolroom
to read The Pet Goat,
Ari Fleischer whispering to him
through outturned pockets
all the way.


Paul David Adkins lives in NY. In 2018, Lit Riot published his collection Dispatches from the FOB. Journal publications include Pleiades, River Styx, Rattle, Diode, Baltimore Review, Crab Creek, and Whiskey Island. He has received five Pushcart nominations and two finalist nominations from the Central NY Book Awards.