The Day of the Weigh-In For Emile Griffith When fighters meet they’re starving. The scale sits middle stage as totem And their entourages rally on both sides The trainers and hype men, hangers-ons And neglected wives Draped in towels like priests, or flashing Endorsements, energy drinks, and chaliced style Or stiletto nails and fake tits. Lost in them, on two respective sides of the stage The shrunken fighters, cheeks sunken and eyes Gibbous as praying mantis, like a god kept captive By some sick forest cult That provides sacrifice seasonally, Never satiating their needs for fluid, For meat, trapping them in the arboreal Closet like a winter coat. Down to their underwear As carnival spectacle or slave auction They display their fallow bodies Their bulging cocks, their torsos sinewy And tight as twisted rope. And then, the stare down eye-to-eye disassociated sneaking peripheral glances of muscle or collar bone how the neck meets the chest or a brown eye becomes hazel when gazed into long enough like a crystal ball foretelling of lovers meeting Recovery Wife’s out. Home alone. My rest limbers, a stretch With pops and cracks. I adjust a coffee mug on the nightstand without drinking. I survey the home, turning a faucet Or checking for mail crumpled by the door. The breath Of motors and rolling tires on roadways can sound Like a slow and oily stream, but it’s a hollow And constant pulse I can forget unless I listen for it, Like my heartbeat. I doubt I notice every plane that flies overhead, rattling The windows. The refrigerator downstairs clatters with ice. A desire can be an infestation slithering out of electrical sockets In great heaps slopping onto the floor, Or warmth dripping down a throat With a sting fresh on the lips. A year sober and I am still cask In an oak body, aging but not quite distilled. I notice how quiet things can be when I’m alone And then suddenly just as loud. My prayers like orderlies shuffle from room to room Taking vitals. That’s right, try to relax as I take your blood pressure. Good, now breathe for me. Visitations Could I be a mystic with an apartment Instead of a desert Locking the cell door Within myself and meeting You? Who (or what) visits me When the creaking wood floors upstairs Crack demonic? I always feel them The moment they enter the room. And I struggle back to my breath Like a teacher instructed When a shadow haunts a hallway, Or I whisper Hail Mary’s Or invite Michael into the room, Hoping for his heat on my cheek. Why do all my meditations Invite the darkness? Is this why we’re to lock the door Because it’s only You and I within me? A vision of St. Lucia, Candles wreathed around her forehead Guide her through the dark. She delivers food in the catacombs of myself Where all the dead things still linger. I eat and know it’s the three of us within me. I open my eyes and the demons are behind the dunes Howling for tomorrow. Florida Prophecy The swamp will crack asphalt In one seismic moment Vesuvius Splintering roads, gushing rotten Earth as muddy magma, swallowing iguana Bloated on hibiscus and bougainvillea And sprout sawgrass necromantic With a swaying zombie walk straight For our storm proofed, shuttered homes. The conch-horned wail of mermaidens Screaming through their gills will return And Ponce De León will sit crow’s nest In wreckage, cursing the fountain of youth. Floridians know this day will come Like an uprising against alien invaders. That marshy scientist may just concoct murder With cough or spore and the survivors will retreat To the smoke stacked planets we’ve already wrecked.