Boxers

There are two boxers.

They dance around each other, slow and subtle.

A left hook here. An uppercut there.

Get in close and win.

One boxer is in all red.

Red gloves, red shorts, red hair.

Every time they lean in, the other boxer pulls away.

There are two people in the street.

They balk at each other like cats.

A brass knuckle here. A knife there.

Stay apart or die.

One fighter is in white.

White shirt, white skirt, white hair.

Every time they pull away, the other fighter leans in.

Every blow the boxer lands leaves no scar, but changes the other boxer on the inside.

Every slash the fighter lands opens a wound, but no blood is seen on the fighter in red.

There are two dancers.

They move to and from each other, touching but never for long enough for it to mean something.

They cry a little with each move.

For them. For her. For Them. For no reason at all, really.

Don’t pull away yet. Just one more moment.

The skin almost touches, below the boxing glove.

The hand on the knife only feels the warm blood.

Do not leave yet.

Tantalus in two, they do not pull away entirely yet, brushing against each other.

It might be a matter of time.

The dance doesn’t end yet, though.

Just one more night. One more show.

The knife fight ends with no winners.

The boxing match is all losers.

The one in red hopes that if they get in close enough long enough,

They’ll win eventually.

But the one in white has no gloves, just a knife.

And she bleeds them dry.

The one in white hopes that they can pull away before any real damage is done,

And stay unscathed.

But the one in red has no knife, just gloves.

And they change her on the inside.

There is one dancer in white, stained red, inside out.

The dance is over.

There is no audience.