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Fisticuffs

Fisticuffs

Some reporters say I fight yellow,
but I don't need to use the dirty

tricks. I don't rabbit punch a man's
manhood like Mexican Pete or try

to gouge an eye like Klondike.
That kind of fighting isn't fighting.

It's like trying to sell a man with no
teeth a gum shield. Instead, I wait

for the punch, move to one side,
then punch back: a left hook directly

to the temple. I named that back
punch Clara. No man has ever

met my Clara & was still standing
to talk about it. The woman herself

quit me, carried the gift jewels
& my roll with her. I took a train

all the way to St. Louis to get her
back just so she could take the rest

of my money & leave again. Clara's
the reason I don't deal with colored

women any more. I never had
a colored girl that didn't two-time me.

©Originally appeared in Crab Orchard Review