What is Butch

Butch is that red-and-white, candy-striped, aftershave-and-razor hair cut, the hand you wish you dared reach out to feel those strong, ripped shoulders, that neck that slides up, close-cropped, under the fabric, like she was born with that cap on, like they were made for each other, lookin out at the world like it’s one big fight or maybe just last night’s lay.  The way she shines those boots that have known the ground, walked miles outside this town, out of her house and never looking back, marching and dancing with her girl, but always easy, hips that were built to press up close when her girl sways and leans her head back, stretching out her neck, long and graceful, inviting her inside.

It’s the jeans that leave a little, or a lot, to the imagination, but never tell their secrets, like a well-worn friend, with a belt thicker than your arm shoved through the loops and a buckle from mom on Christmas that says “I get it.”  It’s the bulge of a brown leather wallet in the back that’s been shined with every step in those ground-knowing boots, the one that fits the shape of that damn sexy ass almost as well as her girlfriend’s eager hand.  It’s the pocket knife that waits at the ready, heavy in her hand and full of power, the shiny chrome chain that hangs down like a challenge, the flask of tequila on her hip, the old pocket watch that used to belong to somebody’s grandpa, the plaid/flannel/seersucker/denim/tweed that says, “no, I meant to look like this” as she walks down the street projecting hard-won courage, meeting gaze for gaze, never missing a step.

It’s that hard leather jacket, pulled up with a shrug and zipped up tight to hold in her shape, that zipper that lets your mind wander to what’s hidden underneath, not just a guy, but something beautiful and dangerous all wrapped up in gasp-with-your-mouth-open handsome.  It’s a steady hand, that practiced lean, the wink that melts you, those arms that can hold a soccer ball or a baby with the same tenderness and strength, that subtle nod of recognition in a passing crowd.  It’s the mouse-catching, spider-moving, shelf-building, oil-changing young James Dean that blushes with pride when his girl asks him to pick up tampons at the store.  It’s the strong arm around your shoulders and the warm, sure chest when the night is dark and the walk home is long and cold.  It’s a thousand brave acts that challenge the world to keep up, to see what’s right in front of them.  It’s a swagger, an affront, a tribute and, at the end of the day, a drink with the guys in that little corner bar that’s no bigger than a postage stamp, where the beer is cheap and the company is certain.

It’s a look and I’m gone, baby, gone, a growl in my belly, a second and third and forth glance back because I can’t keep my eyes off you hunger that I can’t deny.  It’s that attitude that gets my attention, and the grin that knocks me to my knees.  It’s the most beautiful sight in the whole damn world and everything that I’ve ever wanted.  It’s the butterflies in my gut, the thanksgiving prayer to god, and the shy smile I can’t help when I say hello.

It’s butch, and I’m thankful every day of my life that you were born to be that way.

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