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Poem for Muhammad Ali - JAY SIZEMORE

JAY SIZEMORE

poet and author

Poem for Muhammad Ali

The Greatest

Poetic pugilist,
writing poems
on opponents’ faces
of paper and papyrus,
with fists, clenched and padded
and wrapped in leather
like notebooks packing punches.

Float like a butterfly,
sting like a bee,
hands can’t hit
what the eyes can’t see.

War is something more
than a photo opportunity
for Elvis Presley
in his G. I. Blues.
Something about killing
strangers that never uttered
a racial slur, never hated
or enslaved men
with different color skin,
wasn’t worth keeping
that championship belt,
was worth being called coward,
worth taking a stand.

Float like a butterfly,
sting like a bee,
hands can’t hit
what the eyes can’t see.

And Parkinson’s became that
invisible enemy
a brain disease to battle
futilely and eternally
as emotions lose their nuance
to a blank face,
dressed in the flesh
of the greatest boxer
who ever lived,
the dog that made thunder afraid,
thief of Superman’s cape,
only man to ever make Godzilla cry
one hand tied behind his back.

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Published by Jay

But the dead do not remember and nothingness is not a curse.

Cormac mccarthy, suttree