A Doctor in Spite of Himself

Wrestling presents Man's suffering with all the amplification of tragic masks.
- Roland Barthes


No blindfold for Martine
maybe fifteen feet high
arms outstretched, a wooden crucifix
dangling in midair

she jumps, somersaults
from the scaffold
between painted parapets
and my sympathetic heart drops, anchored
to her right thigh,
not knowing whether her
pain is also my anxiety or her
leg is really my heart until I
hear locked knees
superglued together, absorb
enough pounds per square inch to
sink the Yamamoto a fifth time
go thud, leaden

numbing my crybaby bleeding heart,
eyes shut---chickenshit,
beneath thick yellow skin
and blink open, sigh
a nervous Thank Jesus H.
seeing her intact wink no
broken bones so don't worry

but clutch her damn elbow
extremely sensitive to touch
scream hurt veins
just under the funnybone
unhumorous, sour, hypochondriacal
reaction because I can only say
go see a doctor please later

again and again and again
cruel-hearted as Hank Williams
desperate not to listen
to the same pathetic song
about pain, imaginary

or real, she feels
instead of some magic balm
rubbed deeply counter clockwise
that I spit out

again over and again
cotton swabs dripping
heavily of callous sarcasm,
go see a doctor again
this time for sure, but no because
illogically you say something worse
might be wrong, God forbid
diagnosed cancerous
and then what?

Against all homeopathic
recourse, resistant to repeated
entreaties to go see a doctor again
I prescribe Physician,
heal thyself, then my patient
who

helpless, inverted
maybe five feet ten inches
above worn unpadded concrete
learns how gravity increases
the weight of mass
through applied force
enough to break her pratfall
from a fake suplex
unscathed, I think

numbness to intense pain
is hereditary.