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on fighting

a dead sinking hunch,
sack of third grade lunch
was all i needed to put four
knuckles into the chest of bradley b
following a dispute over
whether or not that was a first down
and was i only skipping out
of bounds because i was chicken
right before i hit him i said and meant
'fuck' for the first time
and immediately afterwards i was sorry
bradley b was my friend, who had brothers
that would go on to iraq, to afghanistan,
to buy us beer on bradley's sixteenth
birthday when we hardly knew
what to do with it
at the stop-n-save, one of the brothers said with
a grin that he had nearly died for us
so the least we could do was have a drink with him
it was a logic that i would come to understand
later, as i recalled the buttons of bradley's shirt
and the way they felt when i hit them and
how he didn't even get angry because he
could have pounded me if he wanted and
then i would have been a lot less likely
to have that drink

8 Mar 10

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