Save Me Joe Louis by Gabrielle Calvocoressi

When I was small no one stopped the fights.
A man could beat you till you died,
the crowd leaning in, you on your knees,
maybe somewhere someone says, No,

but it’s like spoons dropping in kitchens:
enough to make someone look up,
not enough to get them moving.
The ref’s just glad it isn’t him

trying to stand, shading his face
like he’s coming out of the movies
into winter sun, shock of the world
made real again — brutal, to be sure,

but America is like that,
unrelenting, you get what you ask for
in the ring or on the kitchen floor.
Someone always wants you to give up,

shake hands, wipe the blood away and talk
of lighter things. And you do
because you’ve been fighting long enough
to know there’s no one here to save you.

From: http://www.cstone.net/~poems/savemcal.htm

Date: 2005

Date: Gabrielle Calvocoressi (?1975- )

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