America at Home (John Luke Byrne)

America at Home

Captain America shaves his pubes.
Not bare, not to skin—you can see
skin, but he keeps them trim. Neat. Nice.
Captain America brushes his teeth
with Crest 3D White, and the cap
is crusty. He uses whatever toothbrush
the dentist gives him after his
everysixmonthstotheday visit and actually
likes it when the bristles start to fray.
He thinks it feels more effective
that way. Captain America keeps
his fingernails stubby, clips them
obsessively, but he lets his toenails
grow long. He keeps his socks on,
hates to show his feet, ashamed
of his talons and the little hairs that poke
up from his toes. Captain America
likes his poop to come out in clean turds
that barely require him to wipe. He takes
his time, reads Readers’ Digest, and unloads
until he has red rims around his ass
cheeks and pink elbow spots on his knees.
He pees standing up. Captain America
sometimes wears the same underwear
two days in a row, but washes
his jeans every time. Captain America
listens to pop music, but only in his car.
Captain America watches This Is Us
and cries. Captain America is a Hufflepuff.
Well, he was sorted into Hufflepuff on Pottermore,
but everyone tells him he’s a Gryffindor,
so he usually just says that. Captain
America hasn’t read the books.
The last book Captain America read
was Eat. Pray. Love. He didn’t cry,
but he thought Julia Roberts was good
casting, even though he didn’t see the movie.
Captain America spoons you until you fall
asleep but doesn’t push, wants you to reach
for him, lets the morning sun wake you
through the window. Captain America
texts like a top and sucks dick like
a bottom and calls out for you in the dark
like you’re the only thing he’s ever needed,
and when you ask to hold his shield he grins
like a schoolboy and lets you run your hands
over its surface. So smooth and so cool.


John Luke Byrne is a queer writer from Nebraska. He lives in Charleston, South Carolina, where he received his MFA in poetry from the College of Charleston.