Home > Poetry > Evander Holyfield’s Left Ear Remembers June 28. 1997
Published: Tue Jul 1 2008
Diego Isaias Hernández Méndez, Convertiendse en Characoteles / Sorcerers Changing into Their Animal Forms (detail), 2013, oil on canvas. Arte Maya Tz’utujil Collection.
Evander Holyfield’s Left Ear Remembers June 28. 1997

I could see the trouble
in Tyson’s ears
at center ring:
two tiny lobes
playing dumb.
Gloves touched,

then Holy’s jab
danced on Tyson’s
face through round
one and two,
one-two, one-two.

Right got the first bite,
a toddler’s nip,
a lover’s clench,
a light scratch
for two points.
His upper cut

caught me, just
an ear, like thunder
and pushed past
to the wide, wide
air above. His iron
bite dropped me

to the canvas
and I couldn’t
hear myself
scream through
the veil
of blood and spit.
Submerged in fight,

Tyson hadn’t caught
his corner’s use the jab,
the crowd’s Iron Mike
and Holyfield,
or Mills Lane,
keep it clean.

They wrapped me
in a latex glove,
and carried me,
knocked out and
bloody, back
to my head.

I could see
the trouble
in his ears,
two tiny lobes
on a mad bull
in a crowd, in a world
waving red.

Gary Dop—poet, scriptwriter, essayist, and actor—lives with his wife and three daughters in Minneapolis, where he teaches creative writing at North Central University. He received a Special Mention in the 2011 Pushcart Prize anthology, his essays have aired on public radio’s All Things Considered, and his poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, AGNI, Poetry Northwest, New Letters, Rattle, _North American Review, _and elsewhere. (updated 2/2012)

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