Knock-Out Opalescent Victory

[Image description: close photograph of an opalized fossil: layers of pale rock with shimmering colourful patches.]  James St. John / Creative Commons

[Image description: close photograph of an opalized fossil: layers of pale rock with shimmering colourful patches.]

James St. John / Creative Commons

if miko shrine virgins can chew on rice
spit it into a vessel, catalyzing their saliva into sake

"beautiful woman wine,” no less
as its analogue was called in chenla

then i decided every day after i train
pummeling mitts and bags, jumping rope and pushups

to spit into my boxing gloves

blue, venom champions, hook-and-loop
12-oz, bought used from a going-out-of-business gym
in upper tokyo, smells like old man’s underwear

broken in and sweaty
what i imagine sumo’s loincloth mawashi
must feel like at the end of the day’s matches

but you and me, gloves 
we're on the road to grabbing a title

if the maidens can turn rice to sake
then i can turn saliva to victory
even with my raggedy muffs

watch me as i down this "beautiful woman wine"
not sake but distilled liquor

beautiful woman victory
not from the body of an innocent virgin
but of a body bruised and black-eyed 
divorced with two kids
C-section, stitched up

so don’t judge me if i have hopes
and expect these expectorants to
ferment into dreams

spewing not a big loogie but clear, bubbly spit
to mingle in there with my sweat

cocktail party networking

yesterday, i grabbed the gloves
pulled out some ibuprofen next to mouthguards
bit into those capsules, let it whish in my mouth
and then pffftttt, ejected the contents
into venom champion's dark cavity

out of the gloves rolled the clearest bubble of opalescent sheen
whirled onto the boxing ring mat
sinking into its lopsided wrinkles

an einsteinian thought game
a bowling ball on a bed
bending the fabric of space-time itself

i tried to pop it with a finger
but it just bounced back 
then i pitched my rolled-up boxing fist wraps
they sank right into the transparent spit globe


i stared into the ball, where’d my wraps go?
eyed and put on my spit-laced gloves
secured the Velcro

reached in

my arm felt straight but i could see it curve 
it arced with space-time pulling everything around it in

i let go my reservations and i fell through, a cold haze
the sound of three dings, the bells that initiate 
the beginning of the round

and suddenly i’m in: jabbing, hooking, crossing
evading, faking, my hands bleed lightning combos
bathed in ibuprofen vodka

time flies by and so do my arms, the bells ring again

Knock-Out Victory!

but on whose dimension?

D.A. Xiaolin Spires steps into portals and reappears in sites such as Hawai'i, NY, various parts of Asia and elsewhere, with her keyboard appendage attached. Her work appears or is forthcoming in publications such as Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, Uncanny, Analog, Nature, Terraform, Galaxy's Edge, Fireside, Andromeda Spaceways (Year's Best), LONTAR, Ride the Star Wind, Sharp and Sugar Tooth, Broad Knowledge, Future Visions, and Battling in All Her Finery. Select stories can soon be read in German, Vietnamese, Spanish or Estonian translation. She can be found on Twitter and on her website.