15 Rounds by Billy Howell-Sinnard

Remember how we used to brawl our way
to a poem. A prize fighter pounding the keys
worthy of a Hemingway adventurer.

At the end of each line
the ding ended the round, then the sweep
of the cylinder like the cut-man
cleaning and sticking your wounds
so you could start another line.

The clack of the keys, hitting the speed bag,
enough in itself to add rhythm and sonics
the more inspired you became.

On your desk in the center of the ring,
a stout Remington or Smith Corona
taunted you to write that publishable poem.

You dreamed of the knockout that rarely came,
just grueling rounds of sparring,
split-decisions, and lonely girlfriends
jilted by your monk-like devotion--
battered and bruised, trying to be a contender.

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Black-Listed Magazine is an online literary magazine. We publish on a rolling basis: weekly, daily, sometimes hourly. Send submissions here: blacklistedmagazine@hotmail.com