Sweat and blood, I come
as if from war. I fill my mouth
with rum and grin, I swallow with
my teeth bared.
This is how we survive,
regardless of opposition. We
bear down, we spite. There
is no question,
we go on. With wine spilling
like fountains from our mouths
and burns rising like red ghosts
on our arms, we go on. Of all
the dictionaries I've eaten, the
one definition I could never stomach
was the meaning of surrender.
Skull-grinning, clenched teeth,
until it kills me, I go on.