90 Seconds on the Round

90 seconds on the round
      Jab-Cross-Hook
            Slip Slip
                  Cross-Hook-Cross
to the Double Leg Slam.

He's chasing his dream
he's chasing my dream, but I - -
       mount 
               arm bar
       A snap. I catch the wince
he stacks down on me, pulls out

- - I pursue myself. 

We lock eyes, warrior 
spirit to spirit. Limbs pinwheel 

     This guy's here to go all out on me
     he goes - all - out - on - me.

He's trained to fight me, 
sculpted moves to fight me 

and now eats my blood. Brothers,
we leave it all in the octagon

all the muscle memory - 
all the hours run,
all the minutes on the bag, 
the tap-outs, the sparring
  - all the stories -  
our bread, our limit, the dreams

No hard feelings, but I want that belt.

Throw my head kick, he checks it to a 
takedown and triangle.

Forgive no excuse
     just one more round
           just one more round
second best is last

I  look  up  shake out

Time skips.

I watch myself, jump
parallel his back over his neck 
sink in the back choke, my feet
already 'round his thighs.

The last minute I marshal every 
scrap of my soul
                           Do or die 

I leave the cage a different man every time.

Fighting1

Thanks to the coaches at the UFC Gym in Corona, 
California for the precious glimpse into your history. 
Heartfelt appreciation to Phillip Brown and Cameron 
Underhill: it is my privileged pleasure to give voice
to your story. You inspire me to push the pace and 
sweat it.