Summer 1993 • Vol. XV No. 3 Poetry |

The Fighter

1. It's the thrill of moving too fast to think. The body's sweet hunger drives you like the sex you can't resist. You're sixteen again, shaking off reason; just the right word, a look, and you throw it all away, let go for the sheer give of whatever's under you. The whole world accelerates. Even with your back to the wall your gut drives you, drives the fist. After the first hit, you've forgotten the insult, the latest failure. The body goes on pummeling and reaching till you've separated from anger. All of it--- every exchange of blows, every sanctuary of blessed pain, the kick way back there that knocked you senseless. Then you're back in the humdrum fight of living, the monotony of is-this-all. Real or imagined, something's nagging. Don't push me, but no, the girl goes on talking until you can't bear her litany, her chain of no's, that rosary of self she shoves in your face. Your fist rains down on her, the palm of your right hand taking her left jaw until you are

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