they rip and tear as if
they’ve never seen a body,
these men grappling and grunting
in an auditorium rumbling
with cheers and chants,
families and coaches
shouting the moves.
One pins. One submits.
One young man falls to his back,
slips his legs around the other’s waist,
tightens the tension.
How could I not find them desirable,
the way they move and restrict each other?
The way the sweaty mat takes them,
hard and consenting in its body?
Blood drains from their faces
as hip to hip they shimmy and roll.
A hand slaps the ground. It’s over and I’m
breathless with jealousy,
with the memory of late nights
in a crowded college bar. Short skirts
and over-served fraternity boys.
Virgins, smooth as a drawn bath.
I’ve drunk too many,
stumbled home alone
in the dark. Lonesome
nights I’ve arrived
blurred and sexless
on the edge of the grass
at my front porch.
I remember empty beds
and apartments. Space atop me
empty, weightless. Suffocating.
by Massey Armistead