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Sunday, February 12, 2023


by Greg Friedmann

“The NFL Operates Like. Monopoly Which Fortifies Systemic Racism”—Choice, February 9, 2023 

Roman numerals: so perfect to enumerate 
our annual festival of gladiators. Modern pads 
and helmets make a man’s body a lethal spear; 
and yes, Roman coliseums also had luxury boxes.  
As ever, spectators make book on the combatants
under their aegis, just as owners once wagered
on dark-skinned men compelled to box each other,
hate each other, on hot Sunday afternoons. 
Imagine, afterwards: the plantation owner,
rotund, pink-flushed from heat, bourbon, and 
bloodlust, making his happy stumbling way 
to the barn, where Missy waits, as she must. 
He says he won’t sell her if she behaves; 
she waits, prays to be good. God must be in
His heaven, he thinks, to have made the process
of creating property so damned pleasurable.

Greg Friedmann's poetry has appeared in Sky Island Journal, The Northern Virginia Review, The Poetry Society of Virginia, Cagibi, Panoplyzine, Beyond Words, and other journals.