Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 15
Fall 2016

The Neanderthal

by Arthur Kayzakian

I’ve always known my outside does my inside
little justice. I’ve had hairy legs since

the seventh grade. In class the unavoidable
silence from the students who sat beside me

made me cross my legs. There have been times
I felt my brain is at war with my skin,

the need to be comfortable invaded
by the need to look good. We were reading

the history of mankind in anthropology class.
We studied the structure of the big-nosed

Neanderthals who half-crawled the earth
with hairy bodies, a build less superior

to Homo sapiens, and my teacher
took the liberty to say, “They’re like Arthur,”

and I was filled with the laughter of the classroom.
I have never known a god to be a Neanderthal

nor Homo sapiens, a she a he or an it,
I have never known a god to cross the borders

of skin to show  me who I am,
I just hope God is anything but that.


SHJ Issue 15
Fall 2016

Arthur Kayzakian

is a poet and MFA candidate at San Diego State University. He is also a contributing editor at Poetry International and a poetry editor at Magee Park Poets. His poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from Northridge Review, Chapparap, Taproot Literary Review, The Food Poet, Confrontation, San Diego Poetry Annual, and Rufous City Review.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury