Chicano Poet

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Henry’s Elegy For Muhammad Ali While He’s Still Alive

He’s the cut-man, best in the business,
a cut above the eyes, a broken nose,
a cut inside the mouth, don’t say a word,

he’ll take care of it, right hand, left hand,
body blow, uppercut, back-pedaling,
a cut above the rest.

Next day the head pounding, the eyes black,
the stomach muscles aching,
the low blow didn’t do much good,

and you’re not even a boxer,
you’re just a poet, in this corner
the opponent---the mighty words.

You’re a featherweight fighting a heavyweight,
you’d better float like a butterfly
and sting like a bee

if you wanna get out alive.
Nobody will give you the championship belt,
you’re gonna have to beat somebody

until the words lie flat on their back,
eyes blinking, muscles twitching,corner-men scurry,
Henry’s eyes finally focus on Muhammad

and Muhammad seems to be saying
float like a butterfly
shake like a leaf.


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