Macho Man's Last Elbow Drop

W. Todd Kaneko


"It's okay for macho men to show every emotion available because I've cried a thousand times and I'm gonna cry some more. But I've soared with the eagles and I've slithered with the snakes, and I've been everywhere in between."

—Macho Man Randy Savage

The eagle doesn't cry. He is too fixed
on majesty to feel bad about gravity's load.
He doesn't know about shady prisons
like that tavern where my father drank
with other worried men perched
at the bar like buzzards, tombstones
mistaken for those creatures
they remember. A man can't change
those scars he wears on the inside,
can't change the names he wears
for the memories of snakes.
A man can't be like the Macho Man,
can't snarl Oh yeah—then wrestle
his way back into a marriage or a job
or a heart vanished for parts unknown
decades ago. Worry starts on the inside
as a man climbs to the highest spot
he can find, as he crashes elbow first
back to earth. When whiskey burns  
a woman's name into a man's stomach,
when the fist wearies of clenching
nothing but air, a man can point
one finger at the sky, at the stars
gilding his haunches. He can imagine
a secret place where a man can spill
out of his body dank for saloons
where machismo is another word
for worry, another word for God.