I've never been much of a fighter.
I've seen enough contention and watched words cut enough throats
that I eventually found myself built for flight,
like some bird whose instincts
are to empty his claws,
spread his wings,
and take to the sky,
and soak in the aftermath from a distance.
I think that's what brought me to boxing.
This was conflict made simple:
there was me
there was him
there were rules
and the better man won.
but weariness built a cocoon around me,
and the default became lowered dukes,
leaving my eyes exposed to right hooks
and my heart open to body blows.
I guess nothing felt worth fighting for,
and I convinced myself that only vague notions of "integrity"
meant a goddamn thing,
so I saved my resources,
conserving energy and counting blessings.
things are different
and there's something I'm willing to fight for
let this be a reminder to myself:
kick and scream and fight with tooth and claw
because this world is built on beautiful things
and you'll be goddamned before someone tries to destroy that.
so put up your gloves, son:
protect those eyes,
take deep breaths,
and don't forget who shows up
six out of seven nights a week
to tend to your wounds
and send you back into that ring.
one more thing:
the only difference between a lover and a fighter
is who comes home to an empty bed.