Intimacy Suplex

we all did it because of Shawn Michaels:
we put the metal ring through the tender part
what once connected us to life & pre-life

heartbroken, all the kids wanted to be
the Heartbreak Kid back in his glory days
we imagined descending from the rafters
like zebra-print angels We all heard
the sweet crack of the kick, a body
crashing through panes of sugar glass

gloves / sterile needle / hot fluorescent
the doctor ties the cord into a knot &
snip a balding man, early 30s, slips
a long, cold needle through the scar

it’s mostly anticipation, mostly long inhales
& sharp exhales Just a quick sting close
your eyes, tuck your chin & fall to the mat

belly to belly, in the center of the ring,
a man clasps you between his shoulders
& snaps you into the mat long inhale
mostly but something in that second snags

feel that, warm like liquid in your gut
like fire spreading slowly, red wet palms
& there tangled in a man’s chest hair
a dangling glimmer of sterling silver

look & see your own cluttered debris
attached to a body that isn’t yours
& the cut tether, the severed connection

& alone now you are re-born just as you were born:
out of flesh & blood, you are reshaped
& you do not walk away without a scar. 

From The Perfect Bastard: Poems. Copyright © 2023 by Northwestern University. Published 2023 by Curbstone Books / Northwestern University Press. All rights reserved.