ringside sermon.

…so often we look towards the Heavens
to ask for fulfillment of our egotistical desires
and solutions for our smallest problems
before we turn to look at ourselves…
bare knuckles
ring truth in the ears of
those once incapable of understanding,
now unable to stand.
applause as his opponent’s
limp body hits sweat stained mat
but all he hears are police sirens,
echos of a life long forgotten–
voices over a radio requesting dispatch units
to 200 Block of South End
because John had too much and
Mom had finally had enough
so she tried to leave.
he prayed every day–
prayed she’d come to her senses
and walk out that battered front door.
if only she’d found the courage sooner.
if only he’d found the courage sooner!
blood on his busted knuckles,
on his busted face–
he tried wiping it away after each fight
yet still he felt it staining his body.
now to center ring they walk him,
hoisting his arms overhead,
outstretched towards the Heavens
praising a savior who’d never answered before
nor seemingly ever would–
a savior who’d never stepped up and into the ring
to fight for a boy who fought for a world
that never seemed to fight for him.
under these lights nothing can hide,
no scars or bruises left unseen
by the prying eyes of those
who’d never truly comprehend
the Testament he wrote with each blow to the chest.
his verses written in blood,
he speaks to a different congregation–
a different kind of church.
hard liquor fitting for paint remover
substitutes Communion wine
for a man who’d never know the difference.
he’s walked from the building
surrounded by bodyguards and training staff,
through throngs of people touching him,
blindly groping at his body
and singing the gospels of wanting and desire.
over screams, cries, and chants,
he answers his crowd of disciples–
shouting to the thronging masses,
all of them worshippers
at his Saturday night ringside sermon.



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