Thursday, February 18, 2010

Michael C. Foran

DEAD REPUTATIONS

He had been in a hell of a fight
like being kicked twenty times in the head,
of course, he would know,
like that time coming out of Driscolls
and fighting those three guys the flats,
the tall one saying,
This stupid shit won’t stay down.
But they just didn’t get it,
no one ever put him down.

In our garage the heavy bag swung for years
like the weight of some dead reputation.
In our world, there was no such thing
as a sucker punch.

It happens sometimes to boys,
the ones brought up on myths,
on the souls of men who always
took the first shot.

Home now, after five days in the hospital,
after ten hours of surgery,
my brother, sober for years,
his neck carved out like a tree though wires,
turns to me, dips low, feints to the right,
--and hisses—
“Tumors are some nasty shit man”

Then comes up fast with a hook to my body,

“Gotcha!!!”