Rope-a-Dope

Nothing for days, then a message:
“I want to see a fight. An old one,”
so I bring a fight to you.
You know nothing of these men;
even the most famous
get to slink in their youth again —
for you Foreman is Leviathan, unstoppable;
Ali just past his prime
flown “home” to muscle back his title.
Not sure how you’ll react to violence
we lie down again together —
your feet in woollen stockings
kneadable across my thighs,
your mouth close to my ribs
and their inmate: a pouting lifer.
I fidget and you scold.
As Ali opens up with right-hand leads
you flinch
but soon you’re lost to the screen
where he waits it out along the ropes,
takes everything Foreman throws.
You don’t believe he can soak up
all this pain and go on standing;
we cheer him on,
winter softened in the tropic of his strength.
When Ali comes alive to put Foreman on the ground
I see a hallelujah look as you turn to face me.
“He won,” you say into my cheek.
“He did,” I say.