• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 03

Chivalry Is Dead

“I can lick you,” said a voice from upstate.
The young gallant spoke that way to the boys,
but to his mother he was all “Yes ma’am”
and “No ma’am,” holding doors for the needle
thrummers at church, the whir of their machines
repeating in the faint tremulousness
of their gloved handshakes. But behind the church,
something else was happening that no one
but two twelve-year-old boys could understand.
Ersatz snakeskin boots rustled in the leaves
as they grappled for what seemed like an hour.
A bloody nose answered a bloody lip.
Sweaty palms met in a sweaty handshake.
Chivalry is dead, long live chivalry.