POEM XXXIX: “ROUTINE MAINTENANCE”

All down the East Coast,
a beating is called a tune-up.

It says something about the mentality.

A fight as neither accident nor disaster:
rather, it’s a necessary adjustment,
just part of the care and maintenance
of any well-oiled human personality.

When you look at it in this light,
a man wading into a bar brawl
his eyes alight with glee
is both medic and patient
locked in their cooperation
on their swatch of bloody earth.

The fist is now a scalpel,
the parking lot a nursing floor,
sanitized with neon and with snow.

It’s corrective surgery
on a budget:

Take the noise out of your head
put it in your knuckles.

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