Climb through the ropes
I can almost grasp it – how the sword
must slice itself into pieces.
And blood must be used –
to wipe away the blood.
You are a boxer in the ring
and then the referee between the two
and then an intimate spectator expected
to absorb the blows without wince or cry,
bleeding at the violent end of a leather glove
yet also from a nosebleed seat
just over the county line. Yes, I can almost grasp it,
as it slips through my gloved hands –
I’m being circled in the ring,
unencumbered of any defensive pose,
facing the impossible with a daunted inadequacy,
rushing forward to catch the punishing blows
and offer a bare, bloodied neck
to the melded shards of the original sword.
O child of God, to resolve the soul’s intrinsic quandary,
courage and forbearance must climb through the ropes.