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Sinking me in fists

Tony Mancus

It looks like you beat me to the punches. Dear ocean of no settled debt, no salt-caress—the important walk is nearing falter: a plank of wood, one thing that floats across the water or how the waves churn under, make motion seem-happen, then the still cycle. It looks like the punches come and keep coming, meaty fists and their covers siphoned from you with rhythm. They let up. Condition me for answering one question.

The ship on the counter looks like glass. It looks bottled, at least from the outershell. Inside full of legs pegged to their model-sized people, a peep hole to help us both see right through the structure lets the wind in. The craft’s sail is flimsy paper. We know its scale and era. You cruise now into form—liquid as muscle. Drawn through a doubleset of lenses. Timed down to fractionspeed, and it’s us there: Black and white—small—the way a face crumples under a blow, a town wall crumbles, we’re captured.

The way, much later, an apple balloons its parts upon slow-motion exit. The bullet another thing that beats any punches or swordhands and ratchets to splinter many ships. A hole to enter the face or seafoam from. Light in the shaky harbor addled with lead ballexplosions, the rocking motion onboard slowed by the mouth of a cannon and you, mate, you keep sinking me in fists.

Tony Mancus

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