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The Boxing Match

by Emerson Gilmore

Patrick Day dies aged 27 from injuries sustained
in a match with Charles Conwell.

I worry more about Charles Conwell,
the one who landed the blow that dropped
Patrick Day, whose brain blew up before he hit
the canvas, who died in spasms his heart
and brain could not endure, chest heaving
as if a monster within were desperate to escape;
although perhaps it was his spirit leaping
to ascend above the crowd that had gathered,
bought tickets to see two men square off
in hopes that there would be a match in which
the bloodied fighters would box a near-pavane,
cathartic dance, for every man and woman
too civilized to stab and beat to death
the ones they love or hate, that soul to exit
the stadium, leaving Charles Conwell the victor,
to stand in the light that shone the same upon him
and upon the fading life that flashed away
when a left that struck flesh flush, snapped a neck
and sucked the life from every living soul that stood to cheer.

Copyright © 2019 by Emerson Gilmore

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