Strong Jaw by Josiah Derby

Strong Jaw
Josiah Derby

I felt the sting of leather on my face
the blood that left a sanguine splotch
for years as they called it competition, taste
of blood, from nose to mouth, as they watch
my gloved hand, so tired, upraised high–
“pretty boy”, for my anxious perfect smile


the electric shock dancing along my spine, my
father’s elbow crumbling enamel, defile
my “pretty boy” beam that shone so bright now
clinks in tiny pieces down the sink, I observe- –
the pain as they grind the bone down, somehow
not sick from the scent of cooking bone and nerve


distracted by the thought: I never once went down.
A joke, no boxing king, yet I wear a porcelain crown.


Since birth Josiah has been exposed to a life surrounded by violence and trauma. These experiences he finds most interesting to explore. In his writing he seeks to better understand himself and hopes his writing will connect with readers and let anyone struggling with life know that they aren’t alone.

Leave a Reply