Stay to the Body: a series of found poems · Melissa Saunders

Round One

i knew. i was down. points in shape. rusty, sharp, elusive. hard hit. with one clean shot. moves. hard to catch. square pressuring. the heart. it’s a win. go to the body. keep to the body. this is your fight. tanks empty. fighting on fumes. more leather to face. more pain. the ribs. more. aching arms. and legs. more breathing. lungs gasping air. neither expected. we fight our hearts out. and don’t say jack. because if you see it. want it. out of mind. felt like a heart attack. nervous warnings. in the center. the ring starts. to bomb hand. and lands straight. backs. don’t give anything. pump. jab. soon. you feel it. set now when. you hand are free. up the middle. touch the jab. deep crowd. the way. feed off the noise. keep the pressure. more angles and movement. movement. on the cut. clean and clotted. round sounded. patented double drop. down to land. a body blow. the eye inside. a pool of blood. more. up and down. chest too deep. too long. not even bleeding. blood streamed down. the cut suffered. against safety. used feeling. as bad as the one i wanted. i’d rather lose it. on my back.

Source text: Halloran, Bob. Irish Thunder: The Hard Life and Times of Micky Ward. Lyons Press, 2007.

Round Three

challenged. i’ve seen you take cuts. trying. running. raging. sprinting. shouting. a protest possibly. body drain. sweating. letting him drift. the wind. a moment to lose. ordinary irascible. this was fun. both given bit. as fluid rhythm. on pockets of air. the onslaught is very predictable. head movement double. jab overhand. he is looking for a hook on you. when he gets close just keep him. boxing beautifully. the speed straight. look at me. i’m over here. stay focused. listen to me. boxing. stick and move. moving from nowhere. full force. sheer force. in trouble. thrown low. below the belt. you keep doing it. you know it’s happening. i’m all set. i want to go. blows to the body. wince and backpedaling. the night. for good measure. blood from above. smeared all over. aim your punches. give me your head. let me work on you. in the opposite. shouting. punch him. punch him. staying inside. taking necessary body punishment. don’t take it. suck it up. like a champ now.

Source text: Halloran, Bob. Irish Thunder: The Hard Life and Times of Micky Ward. Lyons Press, 2007.

Round Four

listen. he’s in. the same fight. you’re feeling. the same you. nice and smart. he gets close. to you. your upper body. touch, touch, touch. keep that second wind. look at me, baby. this fight. the marbles fortunate. blood down. barely aware. the wound. on these both. just stimulates. the terms of the heart. strategically sound. well around. another win. ring and engaged. one minute. to focus. on a singular thought:

are you breathing?

bang the shit out of him. fight hard. busier punches. landed flush. nearly enough. to regain control. with a flourish. and a force impossible. i knew. i had to. get on him. he was still. hurt. hit me to the body. but he could. still taste unanswered power. staggered going somewhere. going down. where i wanted him to go. head. he is me. everything i can. backed with a barrage. of body. the fatal hands. barely eluding. harder hands low. all he had left. harmless breath. series full-speed. full contact.

Source text: Halloran, Bob. Irish Thunder: The Hard Life and Times of Micky Ward. Lyons Press, 2007.

Round Five

midsection. to help himself. we were hanging on each other. nice and hard. bang, bang, bang, bang. throttled by his throat. whiffed with punches. unable to add to the damage. already done. who refused to go. or stay struck. courage nerve. nostalgia forensic. shows that show. open hearts beating. open-heart prize-fighting. visceral factories. valor could see through swollen eyes. chose to not wear a patch. roaring. tell me. a word. someplace else. a body simply possessed. dark sides of envy. wait for the word. everything was extraneous. potentially disastrous. a moment. they hold each other. did not clench. merely leaned against. one another. humbled. paced to bleed. history itself. because it was not intentional. between two warriors. heart dropped brutality. repeat the utter. the gusto.

“if you forget me now i’ll forget you later.” you’re in control. all that matters. again on my own. burn alone. undisputed. never-surrender. never moving laterally. arms out in front. appraise the brutality. me, this is yours. this is a fight. with respect. price. and the other family i’m from. who i am. clean combinations. to the body. a bit low. patience rewarded. it ain’t better shape. fighting mad collison. “let’s go, baby.” give it to me. don’t get caught. nonstop and unnecessary damage.

i boxed the way. my legs stayed in front of him. i was close to him. hard landing body. i was low. the wars inside. “let them live with what they did to me.” we’re one-to-one. belief left him.

“I can’t take the heart out of a guy and he can’t take the heart out of me...”

to land his body
  this is what i love
  growing whispers
  empty inside
  something left undone [stopped on page 307]

Source text: Halloran, Bob. Irish Thunder: The Hard Life and Times of Micky Ward. Lyons Press, 2007.

Melissa Saunders is a writer, artist, and misandrist from Dorchester,
Massachusetts. She is a Virgo sun, Taurus rising, Libra moon with works
published in Unlost Journal, Write on the DOT: Volume V, and Open
, a Leeds, England-based magazine. Melissa resides in Boston and
can be found on Instagram @allmystarsmaligned | | Blog: