Vol. 1, No. 2: Line Drives & Bloop Hits photo

The Retired BoxerSatya Dash

By the time the huge spots
of pigmentation on the road turned out,
after a series of laboratory tests, to be 
bubblegum spit, the cats that had licked
that patch of asphalt were singing, the dogs
whistling, the occasional cyclist swerving
to avoid this hot pink scab that lit up the eyes
of toddlers passing by, their mothers amused
and peering hard at this street art, their fathers
wary if this was a joke but clicking photos,
the stimulus the mighty flick of a tongue or two
printing a feature of topographic delight
in the way a consequence is beyond
reach and still close to a fickle choice, just like 
the ant in your kitchen making a last ditch
effort to wriggle past the scourge of your
careless toe, another ant— trapped in the
feathery bristles of your broom—dancing
in despair to taste air, its revival heroic
like a boxer bouncing off the ropes after being
struck on the chin, back to hugging the opponent’s 
body to get some crucial downtime,
a smart ruse to catch a sliver of falling
breath, such reflexive embracing perhaps 
an understated human dream and though 
there is nothing pugilistic about the evening
today, the long neck of your mop snaps
into two & lathering the floor on all fours
while wiping its weeklong grime
with an old ragged t-shirt you once loved
wearing to the gym, your hands dripping
with disinfectant, you’re wondering
if you’ll ever enter the ring again.