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The Jeanne Crandall Broulik Memorial Prize, Spring 2015
Brian Slusher
Boy vs. Ocean
For Christian
The odds seem long. The challenger
at 3’ 8”, 49 pounds soaking wet

while the champ is a mass of relentless force
not to mention undefeated in its division

but the boy charges in with fierce ignorance,
kicking and punching the incoming waves,

unleashing his arsenal of fisticuffs:
the roundhouse, the uppercut, the karate chop.

Spray explodes. The wreckage of the surf
smokes around his slender waist as he batters

his opponent into knowing its weakness:
the sea cringes at its shores, the sky’s blue lid

screws down upon its brow, but the boy
has no limits, his taut, tanned skin a thin

membrane the fist of his heart knocks through
to break the breakers with his brawling repertoire:

the head-butt, the haymaker, the flying kick.

©2015 Brian Slusher