70: On the Death of WWE Professional Wrestler Chyna

February 28, 2019 · 5:00
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On the Death of WWE Professional Wrestler Chyna
by Hala Alyan

The first woman I wanted to touch: topography of darting muscles
and sinew, a body made for ambulances.

It was Oklahoma. I was seven, my heart was broken,
and you were the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen.

I loved you best all rewilding: hooker-red lips, black leather
for miles, a man named Hunter to love.

The women I knew feared the fist; not you.
When your action figure came out, I bought two.

I made your plastic legs part. Seven became ten became twenty-two.
What I mean is I drank and snorted. What I mean is I tore bread

so the birds would come. I watched your sex tape to see if you’d cry.
I wanted to see the secrets of a woman who had none.

You dove into a fish tank once, after too many cocktails.
They had to yank you out, a headline screaming

The Great Fall of, but I think you hit your mark.
A woman can spend a lifetime wiping a man from her thighs.

Chyna, I went for a run yesterday and realized it was spring already,
the trees shaking their Marie-Antoinette wigs into a savage green.

The fog lifted as I ran; this world brightens with or without us.
Recognizing the miracle becomes the miracle.

The Victorians had it right: a woman will be as small
as the world needs her to be. But you already knew that, didn’t you.

“On the Death of WWE Professional Wrestler Chyna,” from THE TWENTY-NINTH YEAR by Hala Alyan. Copyright © 2019 by Hala Alyan. Used by permission of the poet.