When the fighters slow down, moving toward each other 
as though underwater, gloves laboring to rise
before their faces, each punch followed by a clutch
when they hold on like exhausted lovers,
I think of us in the last months, and of the night
you stood in my kitchen, drunk, throwing wild combinations 
at the air, at something between us that would not
go down. I watch the two of them
planted in that ring, unable to trust their legs,
the bell’s reprieve suspended in some impossible distance, 
and I remember my voice, cursing our life together
until there was nothing either one of us would fight for. 
These men, you’d say, have heart — they keep on,
though neither remembers his strategy
or hears the shouts from his corner. And it’s true
you had more heart than I did, until that night
you gave us up, finally, and dropped crying to your knees 
on my kitchen floor. The fighters stagger and fall together, 
flailing against the ropes. They embrace
and are separated, but they don’t let go.