Boxer (Lindsay Hargrave)

A man boxes with the tile columns on the 13th street trolley platform. It’s not beating him but he definitely isn’t winning. 

There’s another man behind the column, but he’s fine.

The boxer feels

he’s quick but not quick enough

he feels

and he fights, the tiles this time

the air this time



Something I can’t hear

The air, he fights, the air

they discuss them

the air, the air

There are mice crawling out from his ears. 

There are rats under his feet. 

The trolleys don’t stop. The punches keep flying. The rats keep running. 



Lindsay Hargrave is a poet, one quarter of the improvised music group Oarsman, the author of a poetry column in the Philly Plain Dealer and a copywriter for Temple University. Proceeds from their debut chapbook ROT (2022) benefit ARC Southeast. Read more at or follow @notporkroll on Twitter.


image: MM Kaufman