The Sports ChannelThe screen flickers once, twice, and the dead pixels
Revive with color. My eyes widen, then focus,
Narrowing in on two figures,
Two statues of sweat,
Circle each other around the roped prison,
Hungry panthers in a cage.
Two pairs of legs float near the rope,
Tensing, straining with pressure.
The camera pans, and I see the bullets
Of sweat, rolling in and out of every pore.
Their bandaged fists tighten, waving in front
Of their bruised, bloody faces.
Crimson veins protrude
From pulsing, moist skin
Like mosquito bites.
Cacophonous noises everywhere, each crowd member
A musical instrument, incorrectly played
The audience’s impatience growing, screaming for
More pain. Static floods my speakers,
Abusing them. I look down,
And see my own hands quivering,
The stress from the boxers finding their way
From my T.V. set.
Finally, one pounces, striking his fist,
Like lightning, booming across the ring,
Into foreign cheekbone, the other’s nose bending,
The body crumples to the floor,
The tense muscles loosening, softening into jello
(the store-bought kind, the ones that really wobble)
The referee’s countdown is barely heard,
Above the crackling thunder,
Of the crowd.
The boxer coughs, blood spattering from his mouth
Sweat and saliva and blood mingle,
Dripping from his chin
The color drains from his face, leaving behind
Only opaque, his features
He blinks once, twice, his mouth opening and closing,
In pain, eyelids widening
The roaring crowd jeers their faces,
Shouting insults, making faces
But the boxer cocks his head, tightens his neck
He tenses his arms, his shoulders, his mind
His soul, and he
Cheers and boos screech through the air,
Through the speakers, through the T.V.
My own cheer filled the air,
Feeling liquid energy flood my veins
Some eyes look shocked, but others
Widen with hunger,
Ready for more carnage.
But the boxer on the screen seems oblivious, focused,
He wipes the bloody mess off his muzzle,
Coughs once, hacks,
A true fighter
[TABLE OF CONTENTS, LHS CLASS OF 2013 EDITION]
Copyright © 2002-2011 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose © 2002-2011 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission.