Birth of a Boxer

Sundays, I am their dress-up-doll, crinoline and lace for Mama, matching tights and Mary Janes for Auntie. We promenade down Jefferson Street shimmering orange and yellow and pink, my glorious hair pinned up tight and high. The sidewalk cannot hold the weight of our beauty.

Today I am a sunflower, long skinny stalk bursting into petals of flame. I brush against the blue of sky, in love with the gift of height. The street unfurls beneath me. I am water, glass, reflecting the “Boxing Gym” storefront window where I catch sight of a group of creatures who might be women, moving in unison, turning toward me. They are the most beautiful things I’ve seen, arms stretched toward me, twisting torsos, punching air.

Mama calls, come along, come along, but I cannot move, dazzled by the power in the boxers’ arms and legs. When Auntie calls again, I inch toward them, then duck away.

Phebe Jewell's recent work appears in Fiction Attic and is forthcoming in Pithead Chapel and Drunk Monkeys. A teacher at Seattle Central College, she also volunteers for the Freedom Education Project Puget Sound, a nonprofit providing college courses for incarcerated women, trans-identified and gender non-conforming people in Washington State. https://phebejewellwrites.com.

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