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  Ian C Smith
   
     
Remember Sonny Liston
 
My son swaggers home from school
hand bandaged like a fighter’s
describes his day’s slice of life
outpointed by a Stanley knife.
 
Routine events that scunnered me
burn through the lattices of my brain
memory like hunger.
Tracking over the past’s terrain
has become my obsessive way
losing myself in life’s decisions
wins losses mostly draws now
his wound reminds me of sheetmetal
days of cold steel my hands heart
crisscrossed with cuts oil-stained charts.
 
Those factory hands.
Suspicion of education art
travel sexual love ambition.
We believed Sonny Liston’s huge hands
would destroy that dancing poet Ali.
The Mob owned Sonny whose wife
taught him to sign his photographs.
Crouched smoking by those awful machines
we heard Ali humble Sonny for his sins
showcase style and self-belief.
 
My son asks for painkillers
a world from the past’s morphine dreams
brake press burial and guillotine
memory’s surprising scar tissue. 



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