Flawed Boxing Metaphors

by Robin Kidson

I am growing a garden on his skin.
I plant an iris in the iris of his eye;
On his left temple, I’m cultivating
A red rose; on his right, a patch of pinks.
Into a trench I’ve dug in his cheekbone,
I sow Pink Fir Apple seed potatoes.
On me, he composes a symphony:
A ratatat of drum beats on my brow;
A piccolo staccato on my jaw;
The slow sonorous notes of a cello
On my spleen; chords of harps and violins
Andante sostenuto to my brain.
I am painting pictures on his body:
A blood red Turner sunset on his breast;
A landscape of blue sky and green-brown fields
In his solar plexus; a Cubist abstract
In the style of Picasso on his ribs;
A Jackson Pollock all over his face.
We drink punches until we are punch drunk:
A glass of chardonnay to his glass chin;
A gin and absinthe to my coddled brain;
Napoleon brandy for his bruised skin.
Then, the evening’s final round: an exchange
Of magnums of the finest French champagne.
Metaphors for boxing don’t illuminate.
They mask the truth of manufactured hate,
Sweat stench, blood smear, all-over-body ache.
A fight is not a poem; a noble art
Does not turn the brain of a noble man
To mush; a punch is a punch is a punch.