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Prize Fighters

i used to take photographs

of the girls I wanted so desperately

to sleep with—

there are albums filled with their

quizzical wonder

impromptu smiles

forlorn profiles

in dim lit bars

as the flash

took them by surprise.

these were shortly

followed by landscape


with the muse in question

somewhere in the foreground

taken with the camera and the man behind it.

then bedroom motifs

ruffled hair

morning breath and no makeup

dark sunrises where sex hid in dawn shadows

in black & white—

turn the page and they are gone

not a trace

no hint as to what transpired

the blossoming subject


replaced by a new lass

a new love

as long as the 35 mm rolls would abide.

no sign of a fight

nor glimpse of hurt feelings

drunken fumblings

discovered cheating

just rolling pastures, crisp monochrome profiles & the sweeping ephemera

of neon bar signs, snowscapes, bedposts, apartments in


shortly followed by their replacement.

i ran out of albums

undeveloped rolls of film

sat unexposed and neglected in glove compartments

camera suitcases filled with film paraphenalia

catch-all desk drawers

with miscellaneous forgotten keepsakes

they leer back at me

in so many years

the grins and captured laughs

curtsies and wise-assed smiles

saying ‘fuck you, tom,

look what you did

to me’

i stopped taking pictures

of women

i’m attracted to

because pieces of me

wound up on the film




So there can be

Intimacy in thought

Our minds close

But our wills unknown

What impulses may

Divulge about beliefs

Relative to various hungers

They are intertwined

Our addictions unknown

Until the hook

Sets us down denial

Tiring to the surface

Our aches will be known

Like a fish on its side

Vulnerable even to itself.

From the author’s book Healing Hands of Women.

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