Fists by Diana Richtman

Once I had a fascination with men fighting one another.

Fists hitting cheeks, hitting stomachs. They would be fighting

for honor, theirs or mine — it didn’t matter.

But the animal that wins the dogfight does not curl up next to you

and lick your wounds after it has just decimated a body.

That dry dog food will not satisfy any of its cravings.

Now it hungers for something deeper, bloodier,

something that glows red and whimpers. The old rooster

will always be mean even when its head is chopped off.

Claws are still claws even after you’ve filed them down.

They will grow back.

A god who enjoys his killing is no god at all.

What I’m saying is don’t love the man whose hands

you fell in love with first, whose hands curl into fists

even while you lie beside him.