At The Scope
That big nipple of a dome where my father
took me to see pro wrestling matches,
I remember the blue cotton candy he bought
with the glossy program we used to spot
“the villans” from “the good guys.”
The giant ring was an 8-foot cage that barely contained
the likes of Andre the Giant, “Nature Boy” Ric Flair,
Hulk Hogan, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Ricky Steamboat,
and Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka.
It was a circus, with a swril of violence
and a few thousand strangers shouting out
their sad aggressions. “Kill ‘em!” “Beat ’em down!”
We yelled from our safe distances,
and they honored us with body slams and clostheslines.
They knew we loved the spectacle,
the mock ballet of body blows and piledrivers,
hitting themselves until purple splotches
blossomed from their eyes and mouths like flowers.
We took it all as fact. Who knew it wasn’t real?
Anybody could see there was something inside
that hurt so much it wanted it out.
(The last line is borrowed from Nate Pritts’ poem "Apeman", featured on Verse Daily. And, here's The Scope.)