©2019 by Canvas Literary Journal

Published by Cosmographia Books

Background art “Camouflage” by Hyung Jin Lee

Canvas logo by Ali Wrona


Patrick Wang

Autumn 2019

In 9th grade I stared into a

mirror and waged a war with

the boy I saw shattered along

edges of American manhood

sealed off by narrow walls

of conquest and violence
as I reached its pearly gates

other men entered carrying

their lexicons of cruelty
“damn, you fucking killed her”

“let’s fuck the shit out of her”
her has no place in this society

her is a mere game of
smash or pass
“Pass her? I’d smash her”
in this society men communicate

through clenched teeth
“no homo”
to excuse touch but all I see
are little boys learning to say

“not human”
“I am not human”
“You are not human”
“her is not human”
her is a crippled doe
lying lifeless across
man’s shoulder
the prize of war

That once broken boy I saw

never entered those
barbed wire gates

the price was too great

I refused to give up

my humanity


masculinity is mine to


“I am human”

“You are human”

“She is human.”

Patrick Wang is a rising senior at Northview High School. He is an avid writer and artist always dedicated to searching out new voices. He has attended the Kenyon Review Young Writers workshop, been published by the American High School Poets, and excerpted in the New York Times. He is an avid defender of minority voices and his favorite television shows.