Christopher Dizon earned an M.A. in Comparative Literature from California State University, East Bay. His previous publications include Quite Lightning’s Sparkle and Blink, Blue Crow Magazine, The Riding Light, and The Midnight Circus.
He tells everyone “I’m gonna be on the
TV.” It’s a televised event in
front of thousands in attendance and the
millions watching at home. What he doesn’t
understand is that this is not a try
out, it is the try out, an audition
for the big stage of broadcast wrestling.
When he realizes it’s another test,
he thinks about the fans and what they won’t
see. They will never know how stygian
wounds bleed like invisible ink. All
injuries must be attended with black eyes.
Although they will never witness the
classified life backstage, they will love him.
The Razor’s Edge
is another kind of prayer, asking
us how incisions bleed a certain kind
of thrill, similar to standing in a
ring with thousands of cuts witnessing the
right way to lacerate a tribute: Hoist
opponent above your head, arms open
for public carving, forming a blood cross,
a crucifix of wine, a sacrifice
for the stage. Fans don’t know that every
outcome is a predetermined die-
section. He was supposed to win the match
and carry on the sharp sting of the mask,
a bladed legacy, of space travels
in lycra-spandex now eclipsed—wounded
The key feature of this contest hungers
above the ring: treasure dangles outstretched,
taking the form of all you ever want.
A suit case full of money. A superstar
contract. A main event. A five-pound shine
associated with heavyweight gold.
Imagine a pinata withholding
candied dreams of championship glory.
They can be yours. Ascend stages and launch
an aerial attack. Take drama. Fall
sideways, cartwheel into canvas. Use
staged steps as a weapon and listen
as metal kisses flesh with stiletto
contingency. All you have to do is climb.