Every night the same—Ray’s Spar Bar
blocks from the defunct boxing club
undefeated alums framed behind the counter
among them young Ray himself
chin resting upon one glove
smirking as if he’d landed a punch
on his own mandible and it’s taken
this many decades for it to bruise and swell.
Though the only fisticuffs now
are me beating myself up
while the others slump on stools
from shifts ending hours ago
swaths of tar on roofing boots
swirls of grease on sleeves
the tiny tv Phillies turned down low.
With my quarter change from a late draft
I choose Charley Pride on the juke
and some loopy sentimental
Polish waltz and then Hank Williams
unable to help himself and like me
still in love with you.