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Battle Senses

by Darren Swift

We smell, of liniment and leather, sweat and stained shirts. The odour arouses, sends a million tribal memories coursing through minds. Adrenaline rushes into streams, forcing rivers to burst banks of false bravado. We smell fear.

We see, each other, at a distance, then up close. He sees my leather while I don't see his. We dance on sprung canvas, our eyes joined we watch for the next move, the next swing, the next tell, the first weakness. We watch failure.

We touch, gloves at the start of each round; a gentle pawing passing for feigned friendship before we touch once more, hard, brutal, digging. As confidence conquers doubt we touch harder, straight, hooked, jabbed. We touch venom.

We hear the crowd, shouting for me, for him, for US; for neither, for gore. We hear it, in our veins, in our heads, spattering the floor following the sound of vicious thuds. We hear pain.

We taste the blood, as it spills down chins and chests, collecting in waistbands. We taste the atmosphere, revelling in debauchery, danger; the disgust of the wives in the front row. Soon one of us will taste victory, one will taste defeat. We tasteĀ… life.


Posted on 04/24/2006
Copyright © 2023 Darren Swift

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Dave Fitzgerald on 08/16/06 at 11:55 PM

I love this one, well under rated. I understand it completely. I'm a former soldier and I still box today... getting a bit old for it now but... anyway, great stuff. Oh and well done in your advisory role

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