stork daddy memories have been compressed to feints and jabs, stored in the memory banks of wrapped knuckles which adorn the loose then taut arms snapping and frothing from an advancing retreating center.
they would move past snags to find a stopping point, to return the innocence to the grimacing face in front of them. a face is colored, eyes seem to peer out from grotesque angles. his blood can see again, rushes to the air it's forgotten in years of service. blood arcs broadly, obeying physical laws we forgot it must.

two fighters entered a ring so they could live out for the eager masses a fantasy time which never existed, in which we are naked, in which we bruise but also forgive. they have taken upon themselves a life no one else is interested in. there are easier ways after all.

the old fighter limped to the ring. the watchful can see him breathe heavy, he's done acting and it's time for curtain call, he's done well, it's brought him this far. his storied career will just seem a prologue to the people in the audience. he knows the fist will land and land hard, he knows this is about him forgetting what it's like to win, losing the hunger.

the young fighter for his part seems oblivious, there is no regret, there is no recognition of the lose lose he faces. loud music, pyros. a nickname he selected himself. flags wave. give him a year and he'll be shaking hands with nobel prize winners. he no longer wonders when they will all see through him. as he nears the ring, it's about one person standing across from him again, and he doesn't feel like he's lying.

it doesn't take long for the punches to land. the old man knows how to deceive. he hides his pain, he makes the champion stagger. but the champion isn't thinking about rounds from now, he goes and goes. tomorrow the aged fighter will no longer recognize his face in the mirror. purple ringlets already swell up over his eyes which pace madly like caged canaries. the crowd seems strange and hostile, as if he had finally unmasked his true opponent. is it the crowd? or is the deafening rush in his own ears? distinctions blur, his movements are slow.

he drops. tomorrow his voice will have lost a level, but he will also have lost the uncertainty. there is peace in that. he has no choice now but to move onto other things. people pat him on the back. there will be laughter again with his friends someday, and nights of champagne and celebrations given to him by others will seem a step down from all of the things he fought for in that last fight.

but what does it mean to survive? what was being measured if it wasn't the worth of his life? these are questions asked of him everytime he looks at the people he loved and wonders why they don't feel he's failed them as he thinks he has.

he puts his fists feebly up in the mirror the next day, but there is no defense. he disdains the love of life that made him fight. he disdains how every time he touches the stings at his temples and under his eyes it fills him with a calm rage.

he looks out the window, the rain weighs down the brightness of other people's gardens with growth.
his elbows rest on the windowsill.
he had been taught as a child to box by his father. his father seemed the world then, but now he knows he too was just a corner.

he thinks of all the times he left his corner, met in the middle. a good life is being able to return to that corner, taste the blood, the cold water, forget for a moment that you ever have to leave.

he feels a soft familiar hand on his shoulder. he lets it stay there for a slow ten seconds and doesn't cheapen victory with a remembrance of it.
stork daddy today a boy has beaten a man. 021122
grendel spawned from un-redressed grievance 050915
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