Sunday, January 15, 2023



I’ve been a boxer since I was five years old. I grew up on the 
southeast side of town. No one really wants to live here, except us 
Mexicans. My father always wanted to be a professional fighter, 
but he mostly just watched it on the weekends, with a beer. He 
worked as an industrial mechanic for 35 years. That’s how he paid 
for my boxing training. When he saw I didn’t care much for tools, 
he taught me the right hook. He said, “we are Mexican fighters. We 
rarely use the jab. We are undersized but our hearts are made of 
iron. We get in on the inside, like Canelo fighting those tall light 
heavyweights. We come from an Aztec warrior class. Boxing isn’t a 
sport, mijo,” he’d say, “it’s a religion. The boxing Gods don’t forgive.”


Jose Hernandez Diaz is a 2017 NEA Poetry Fellow. He is the author of The Fire 

Eater (Texas Review Press, 2020). His work appears in The American Poetry 

Review, Bennington Review, Chestnut Review, Crazyhorse, Georgia Review, 

Huizache, Iowa Review, The Journal, Los Angeles Review, The Missouri Review, 

Northwest Review, Poetry, Southeast Review, The Southern Review, Witness 

Magazine, The Yale Review, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading 

Anthology 2011. He teaches creative writing online and edits for Frontier Poetry.


We loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), and we want an 
opportunity to better hear our contributors. We're featuring audio recordings of 
poems from our pages, read by the poet. This an open invitation to all contributors 
from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to 
hear it.

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