Sumo Wrestling
in the Time of Trump

Come here, darling,
bring your giant underbelly,
four hundred years of pain
stuffed inside. Here is mine,
too, jiggling with the dark weight—
millennia of white woman servitude,
we two burdens no longer enslaved
in black body or angelic mind.
Trembling with engorged pride
grown over centuries to protect
our fragile kindness, our kind,
confused in our new little powers,
we advance on each other,
misdirected rage coalescing
in a farcical, rippling spectacle
of flying sweat, hugging grips,
crumpled faces, cartwheel flips,
shifting feet, crushed belly flesh,
until the ring becomes a bed
and exhausted we collapse
each into the smallest dolls
of our nested selves. Wooden
histories shed, we search: bones
stretched over by thinning skin,
eyes—liquid gifts asking somehow
to enter the other, be forgiven.

For further reference, read Rudyard Kipling’s
“The White Man’s Burden” (1899) and Coventry
Patmore’s “The Angel in the House” (1854).

2020

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