my nephew asks if I can benchpress him
his mother’s new lover can and often does

my nephew who once said my boyfriend was illegal
my nephew with his dad’s voice and jaw

my nephew who now protests I had my hand
on his balls for the first attempt

I try again   let both his wicket legs
rest against one palm   put my other

to his heart   and push   because
what is masculinity if not taking the weight

of a boy and straining it from oneself?
here we are   a man holding a boy above him

horizontal   like an offering to the artex ceiling
not even a minor Greek would see as fit to sculpt