Christopher Chambers

Requiem for a Middleweight

Everybody’s got a plan until he gets hit
or notice the preacher’s daughter the way
she calmly
sits ringside a slight smile that touches
him the way no glove ever so drifts off
& gets tagged

once this farmboy in secondhand clothes
ran miles to school & home spent lonely 
hours dancing
with a speed bag first then heavy & always
the shadow

his taped hands whistle around the dull thud
of heartbeat hypnotic as their first date kiss
the measure still
an engagement ring weighting his pocket
toward the darkness beyond this twice bright
empty ring.