Without the Fight

It doesn’t work—

all the happy you

told me that

you loved so much

about me.


It doesn’t work.


It stopped working

the moment you

ducked down

and out—

the ropes of the ring

brushing against your

bare back.


You lent your ear

to whispered defeat

before the bell

could even ring.


I stood in your corner

and my lips parted

to scream

to shout

to protest

but all that passed

between them was

struggled breath.




Happy fell

into the shadow

you cast

as I watched you

walk away


disappear into

the dark

past the crowd.


You are a prize fighter

without a belt.


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