Sunday, December 6, 2009

Eighty Percent

Extremely odd sensation—I’m focused on my gut when
By all rights I should pay full attention to
Your imminent attack

One corner of my mind keeps watch upon the
Stiff and tender patch that marks
My weakest point

All my movements are a little bit restrained
Holding back, as if I’m not quite sure that on the lunge
My insides won’t pop out

Here’s the oddest thing of all—the outcome
Of this inward contemplation, enforced passivity
Is not half bad

Instead of battering myself against the solid wall of your defense
I watch a bit and wait, let myself accept
What random opportunities present

A simple tap, a gentle lunge into the open space beneath your arm
The grace of wiggling aside while you
Impale yourself upon my blade

The nature of this side effect? A lack of expectation
I feel fortunate to be upon the strip at all. No inner demon’s driving me to
Ratchet up the score

When I’m entirely reformed—insides zippered and secure
Will I retain this gratitude for taking up the blade
Regardless of results?

I’m fifty, after all. Soon every year will hold
Less strength, less speed
Progressive limitations

And so I practice with this gift I have received
A wound that pierces time, a glimpse of future states
A fractured wisdom

Hit me if you can—but we may both discover less is more

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