The Eleventh Round

Dripping, Eric Fram

There are splats of blood on the mat already.

My left eye drips warm blood, much to

the interest of Doc, who weaves skin to skin.

Then, a simple ringing not in my ear.

A shove from behind and I am back again,

staring at the big man’s huge black gloves with

yellow laces that fly through the air like

angry lightning bugs on a cold June night.

I try to block his blitzkrieg of blows, but

his right hook sends me to the ground, a place

to rest my weary head, before my heart

pulls me to my feet again, without the

consent of my beaten eyes, still dripping,

the blood my heart races to pump out.

I see stars between camera flashes.

The ref pleads with me to just stay down.

Let’s go I slur, spitting red on his shirt

and the black gloves are quickly back.

A left hook sends me back to the friendly

ground. The ref once again counts his fingers.

My head has given up, it can’t send

the slightest distress signal to my heart,

whose strings hoisted me up like a puppet,

who wants nothing more than a brain to think.

About the Author

Jeffrey Budz · Loras College

Jeffrey Budz is a junior English and Secondary Education student at Loras College. This piece first appeared in The Limestone Review.

About the Artist

Eric Fram · University of California

Eric Fram is a third year English major at UCLA with a concentration in Creative Writing, Poetry. He is the Arts Editor and a Poetry Editing Staff member of Westwind, UCLA’s Journal of the Arts. He has been published by Westwind and Plum Tree Tavern, and “Geodess” first appeared in Westwind. Follow him on Twitter @ericsfram.