Whatever Surrogate

Albert Goldbarth
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Because we were evolved to rush for berries in the dark,
avoiding predators eight times our weight and speed, and now
we have that same emotionalenergyturmoiloompahpah
of endless need and heat and promise in our selves, but not enough
of daily circumstance in which to invest it, in which to burn it
away… well, we have church, and boxing, and Oscars,
and philandering… whatever surrogate extraness suffices.
In the ring tonight, the two contenders circle
unceremoniously, and then begin the pugilistic
razoring that’s what a cockfight is. The three-inch
emerald-and-silver attachments savage flesh, and
the Japanese tea ceremony, the bibliophile’s eBay wars,
the corrida, the tenure committee, the rooster gore
that sparkles in the dirt like fallen piñata candy.

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