The Night Kid Paret was Killed on TV

Again the sky has gone to seed.
Damn blackberries!
I dodge my way
through Mrs. Roat's orchard,
imagining her big dog.

   Eddie? That you? Door's open.

Joe watches the fights,
the blue screen, sips an Oly.
Jean stuffs clothes
in the drier. I redden
at Linda's bra
and filmy underpants.

   Who's fighting?

Joe says
   Benny Paret and some other nigger.

The Kid is trapped in a corner.
Hard right.
Another booming right.
The crowd comes alive!

Linda says
   You wanna Coke?

   I don't care. Yeah.

The Kid's head snaps,
lolls like a doll's.

Solid left, right.

His head shakes No.

Shakes No, no.
No. Seven, eight times.

Loping home,
the moon growls,
caught in the teeth of a dead fir.
I feel my head, the new
soft places,
fists of air slamming
some lovely humming in my ear.

Ed Harkness | Mudlark No. 13
Contents | Helen