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The Fighter -

By Marylou Falstreau

I am a fighter He said

and there was no denying

the image conjured up.


Broken chin, broken tooth, broken heart


He didn’t even know what had hit him

which was the point of it all

I think.


We drove to San Francisco and gathered him up

beaten into submission

He lived on our couch for a while.


We fed him hot soup, smoothies and love

And held our breath

unaware that we were breathless


Reeling from the open wound


He was raw and vulnerable

This man-child revealed

as the fighter.



The couch still holds his scent

I love this

His memory is imprinted on sun bleached denim

Curled up in a fetal position


so soft he was able to be held for awhile.

It’s my memory.

I hold it dear and loosely to save room

for more memories.


Back home now

he walks on glass through streets of the tenderloin

Opening doors down dark pathways


Revisits his ancient themes and writes them down

on moleskin pads.


Sad, courageous, rebellious


He draws close with one hand

And pushes away with the other.


A lover and fighter at the same time.


So typical.


When I first knew him he wore Superman Underoos

Three feet tall with a capital “S”

emblazoned on his chest.


He charged through his days and my life

Powerful imagination

Powerful love that he was.


His style has changed


He wears black and blue now

with a Cambodian woman and a gun emblazoned on his chest

a cell phone in his pocket


making the statement that he always has something to say

even still.


Underneath it all

Peeling away layer after layer


He is stripped down to bare skin and bones.


No one knows this but me.

I see him for who he is


A walking bill-board of humanity

Challenging stories

Cracking mirrors of illusion

So the light can seep in.


A reflection of the pain in us all

In himself for sure.


Angels and ancients surround him

And whisper truths in his ear


He has been obedient to the call.


Reckless, Courageous, Angry lover

I am a fighter he said.


And he is still a fighter

But now he is fighting for truth and light

And himself.

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