Backyard Boxing
by Alan Chazaro

  1. After school we’d slip
  2. 		into the back and swing
    1. our skinny; weak
    2. 		haymakers we thought
      1. would make us grown-
      2. 		men. I wondered
        1. if we’d get sleepy
        2. 		from knocking
          1. each other to the grass,
          2. 		if we needed gloves
            1. to shield or break
            2. 		us from ourselves. One
              1. afternoon I refused
              2. 		to fight, Emilio’s punches 
                1. popping my ribs and jaw.
                2. 		My arms fell mute
                  1. until the crowd lost interest.
                  2. 		Hit him back! they told me
                    1. as if my body had forgotten
                    2. 		how to hurt.
Packingtown Review – Vol.9, Fall 2017

Alan Chazaro a high school teacher at the Oakland School for the Arts, a Lawrence Ferlinghetti Fellow at the University of San Francisco, and a June Jordan Poetry for the People alum at UC Berkeley. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in various journals including Iron Horse Review, Huizache, Borderlands, BOAAT, Juked, and The Acentos Review.

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