The Wrestlers

by Adam Palumbo



eloquence in torsion, a language   

of bodies and mastered agility.

Two opponents fighting like lithe

jungle cats for dominance, like

generals plotting their attacks,

their feints—this is no playtime thing.


Theirs' is a transcendent labor.

Pulling and pressuring position,

trapping and taking advantage.

Reduced to proficient instinct

and aggression, with the arena

laid bare beneath their feet,

centered in a ring of pure struggle.


They have practiced and drilled

their strength of body and will.

Bottled rage, uncorked here,

if only here. Spurred, fueled

by the admixture of dedication,

tortured repitition, and vaunted ego,

they fight.