This poem was published in the South Dakota Review. It's my response to a book called "No More Mr. Nice Guy," which is about 'nice guy syndrome' - this is where people-pleasing men can't stop seeking approval from others. As they passively give in to everyone around them they resent those who don't see how "nice" they are, especially women. They often withhold truth because they think they're helping when they decide what's best for others.
Object Permanence is a concept in developmental psychology and refers to a child's understanding that a person or object continues to exist even when it can't be seen. For example, babies begin to realize at some point that when their mother leaves the room she does not cease to exist; she'll be back.
You're my knight in shining nice,
savior from the straight-on truth.
Your white lies are easy on the eyes.
Trust me—there's nothing quite like you
for miles. You think your visor down
means we can't see you
erasing the trail of unrequested rescues,
the women who didn't quite get
the benefit of you. Wite-Out
on the Book of Kells, erasure poem
on the text of us. "Write it slant"
is not the answer. You clank down the steps
in your armor of try. You want and
wish, and what's done you resent
until you're begging for relief
from yourself. No one makes you
go out on that field. No crowd is
screaming this joust to its fatal conclusion.
Published in South Dakota Review, Volume 57 No. 2