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Hymn

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That quality of the great boxers
to be able to stand there
and take shots,

gargle with firewater,
encounter intoxication
at sub- and supra-atomic levels,
to leave one’s sandals at the crater’s lip
like Empedocles, and descend,

not say: I’ll be back,
not think: fifty-fifty,
to vacate molehills
when dwarves want space to grow,
to dine alone,
indivisible,
and able to renounce your victory—

a hymn to that man.


Source: Poetry (March 2011)

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This poem originally appeared in the March 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

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