Poetry by Justin Karcher

The More Broken Someone Seems, the More We See Ourselves in Them

Wrestling is a lot like poetry or should I say
poetry is a lot like wrestling, how you start off

emulating the greats, young and half-naked in some backyard
in the middle of nowhere battling your inner demons

jumping off things trying to find your voice, how far
you’re willing to go to write your personal origin story

how much you can take and keep, who’s the villain
holding you back and how to get the best ending

it’s never easy leaving everything behind and you gotta be
stronger and since they say pain is weakness leaving the body”

you ignore absolutely everything and let your best friend hit you
with a chair to get you going, enough headshots and you’re spitting

out fireflies and there’s no farewell party as you take to the road honing
your craft, those beautiful bugs lighting up the dark and you follow them

wherever they go, stumbling upon community where you least expect:
places you can’t see on Google Maps, tiny groups of people

down on their luck sitting at ringside in old gymnasiums
or close to the bathroom in dirty bars, it gives them strength

watching you fall apart so spectacularly, and you do it badly at first
but you’re never deterred, even if the applause isn’t as loud

as it should be because this is all you wanna do: entertaining
and maybe inspiring, and if you end up being a footnote in the journey

of your generation it’s better than nothing at all and best-case scenario:
you get really good at destroying yourself, so much so that everyone

who sees you begins to question their own pain, what the hell they’re doing
and the steps they need to take to crack open the book of their own mythology

your blood points them in the right direction, the words you spew from your mouth
carries them to the promised land where they learn how to hug the soft animals

of their bodies and eventually you’ll perform in front of an audience
as wide as the sky and every one of their faces is a star you gotta constellate

so their togetherness tells a story and when they fall asleep at night, they shine

Justin Karcher

Twitter: @justin_karcher
Bluesky: @justinkarcher.bsky.social

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