* * * * *


The corner man 
Urges his fighter to win
And although he knows the battle 
is waged by the boxer alone
He feels every blow. 
The corner man provides his fighter with water
Sponges down his fighter
Staunches the flow of blood 
Ices the swelling
Cuts his fighter when necessary
Watches closely as the bout progresses
Prepared to stop the fight
If his man or woman is at risk
As they always are
Precariously balanced on their toes
Inside the ring with demented opponents
Who take the fight to them
As the corner man holds a white towel in his hand
Not wanting to throw it in
Hoping to reach the bell
Having given one’s all 
The planet spinning
The decision in the hands of judges
A fighter entrusts the corner man with her life
The corner man entrusts the fighter with his

How to Love

look into her eyes until you are crying
say, “there must be something in my eye,”
say, “the wind is so strong I’m tearing.”

hold her until you are shaking
say, “I must be getting a chill,”
say, “the wind is so strong I am fluttering.”

ask her what matters
but do not accept answers that do not take your breath away
gasp when she tells you
not what you want to hear
but what is true
and reveals more about love than her body does

say, as if choking,
“I must have something caught in my throat,”
say, “I almost died this morning
longing for you.”
mean it.