The Thrilla In Manila came to mind last night
after a Philip Levine poem read twice
without cracking the
Luzon, your old beat, host to high stakes TV taunts.
The Fight of the Century but we missed
the bout, the knock out
Smokin' Joe, dead, Ali, blank, looped in soft, smudged frames.
You, turned Florida soil beneath granite
markers platted in
Somewhere between a dream state and may-as-well-read,
we touched gloves and returned to our corners
to wait for the
I granted you youth to keep the fight fair, two-ten,
a long reach, lid flipped, spilling rage, grinning.
Up my sleeve, the
to mix my blood with your blood my sweat with your sweat,
absorb blows to my head, my ribs, turned cheek,
view you through cut
Then wade into your lethal right, annointing left,
injecting all I've got into one gloved
fist, my knockout
November 22, 2011