After the Flood

Only babies slept through the howling winds.
Morning finds the madman absent from his post,
though his bicycle bell keeps ringing.

The South is worse than the North; in some
quarters, no lights. It’s also bad in Central,
where for now, the shooting has stopped.

Tomorrow the clinics will reopen. Cancer patients
will wait nervously for their chemo, observing
the lines, where the water came up to.

And a badjohn looking to settle a score will hear
that the man’s child has died, and he’ll help him
kill the snake found under his bed instead.

• • •


The Fight
                              for Keith and Ansil

The ad at Barclays Center is for
a fight between Deontay Wilder
and Luis Ortiz, and I thought, you
guys would have liked to catch this,

arguing who had the uppercut,
who had the better swing, but
that against Ali, neither would’ve
stood a chance. So it is with you

followers of the fight game:
the lacing up of the gloves, the
referee, the ringside crowd.
The sign has me thinking now

about how Ansil must have gone
headfirst down those basement
steps, his grandson yelling, Get up,
Grandpa, get up!
The way we call

for the champ to get up, while the
corner man, who knows better,
says, Stay down, son, stay down,
a bet none of us would have won.