Reginald Harris


The Knockout
after a painting by Joseph Sheppherd

From canvas to canvas, a study in curves:
The arc of a fist, of one body moving through
another. The other’s slow collapse
and curl toward darkness, bloodied head
a blur of sweat and spit. Flying mouthpiece.

The referee hovers, arms spread wide
ready to step in, calling time. Seconds
lean in from the corner, mouths an astonished
‘O’ as the crowd begins to stand
lifted like butterflying feet rising from the mat,
circling awe-filled students with the beauty
of one swift and feral stroke.



Librarian and author Reginald Harris is Systems Department Help Desk and Training Manager at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland. Finalist for a Lambda Literary Award and the ForeWord Book of the Year for (Three Conditions Press, 2001), he has received Individual Artist Awards for both poetry and fiction from the Maryland State Arts Council.


Published in Volume 10, Number 1, Winter 2009.


Read more by this author:
Reginald Harris: Langston Hughes Tribute Issue