Kendo

In the dream, I was in my twenties,
In the old shared house on Shotwell,
And some of us had somehow decided
That we should clear the furniture

Out of the living-room once a week,
And host a series of underground
Live-blade kendo bouts. Apparently
This was quite the scene. Tickets

Were a cold hundred; the video
Pure money on the Internet. Or
So we heard. It was our first.
Hipsters lined up on the porch,

Glued three-deep in the corners.
The fighters came by motorbike,
In Aerostich suits, blue and red,
Full-face helmets, black visors,

And naked swords in their hands.
Without a word they entered, faced,
And began to fight. Blue charged
Red and slashed at his leg. Red

Batted the blow away, whipped his
Sword around, and slid it through
Blue’s shoulder at the collarbone.
Blue collapsed. Blood was all over.

One of the hipster girls screamed.
The thread of the dream snapped.
Red dropped his sword and ran out.
The audience followed. One guest

Called 911; two others held
The bleeding man; the rest
Vanished, including of course
My housemates. I threw up, then

Slumped on the baseboard, staring
At the terrible blood, realizing
Everything in my life was ruined.
But at least I was in my twenties.

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