I Could Be a Boxer





I Could Be a Boxer


I have a history
of growing back wisdom
teeth, parting my gums
like persimmon fruit
and making it look easy.
Like bright dead things
look easy or carving
S.O.S. in fresh cement,
the branch moving
like arms or legs.
But I know my body—
it’s a stove that learned
early how to bake
a life or take one.
Like mending a crow’s
wing when I was eight,
its feathers thick
enough to fill an urn.
And birthing that tooth?
was like punching out
a bruised rib but
I took it like God
was in my throat
telling me not to cede.


*   *   *
Cynthia Manick is the author of Blue Hallelujahs (Black Lawrence Press, 2016). A Pushcart Prize–nominated poet with a MFA in Creative Writing from the New School, she has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, Poets House, and the Vermont Studio Center. Manick’s work has appeared in American Review, Bone Bouquet, Callaloo, Kweli Journal, Muzzle Magazine, Pedestal Magazine, Tidal Basin, Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. A LINK TO HER NEWSLETTER

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REVIEW: Janice L. Loper 5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional. Truthful. Intensely absorbing. Eloquent. November 29, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition You get such an emotional response from each page. Your mind shouts, “Yes, This is truth.” As you read. Some passages leave you bleeding and stunned. Others have you shaking your head. These collections and musings are quite stirring. The truth can be quite ugly.

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