His old arms fight to hold three six-packs

of cheap beer, waiting to pay behind me.

He’s pinned them to his gut, bent his knees,

and absorbs the ice-cold blows in silence.

 

With one ear I hear as I walk toward the door,

“I was the number 5 heavy-weight boxer in the world!”

and his words echo in my head as though through

an arena where somehow the seats are empty.

 

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