In My Heart by Stephen J. Golds

In My Heart 

My brain. Black and grey 

on a computer screen. 

The doctor’s talking but I can’t understand 

a word she’s saying. I stopped listening 

after the word ‘lesion’

Staring at the white circle on the screen. Something that shouldn’t be there but is. 

I wonder if it’s from the time

I was in a boxing ring I shouldn’t have been in. Outclassed. Outgunned. Out of my mind. 

The ropes holding me up, 

rocked to my core, refusing to quit. 

Refusing to be knocked down. 

Waiting on the bell. 

After, a migraine lasting days, 

two black eyes and a 

swollen forehead. 

But

my gloves hadn’t touched the canvas. 

Thought I’d got away clean 

after I healed up. 

But then, 

a year later

the hospital and 

the MRI result on the screen and 

that large white spot —

a bullet hole through my mind. 

I’m sure there’s a conspiracy 

to kill me this year. 

I thank the doctor and 

leave the hospital. 

Hit a bar by the university to drown myself. 

But

the next morning, 

brushing my teeth before work 

there’s a beautiful woman 

much younger than me and 

much more alive in my living room.

Her laughter had filled my night. 

Bathed the whole apartment like 

a bright light. 

I look at my reflection in the mirror 

grinning because I know then,

I will never let my gloves touch the canvas.