Oct 20, 2009

Enter the Dragon

Written by C. Dale Young

Read by Geoffrey Brock

To move is to experience pain. To turn
the head, impossible. The bone shattered
as easily as the glass window, and the cord,
the spinal cord, knew its fortress of bone
had been weakened by assault. The room,

in its mottled grays, smelled like Lysol,
smelled like the bitter chemical of cleanliness.
To say “trapped” would be imprecise.
To say “restrained” would be a misnomer.
And on the television hung in the corner

of the room, Bruce Lee had entered the dirt
courtyard, his arms cycling and cycling,
his cry a warning to the men circling the pit.
“Enter the Dragon.” I had seen it before.
But I was not Bruce Lee. I was the man

broken by Bruce Lee’s leaping hands — hands
to the head, hands to the neck. And I know
now that the cracked bone is not necessarily
a broken bone. I know this now. I have studied
long enough to become those men who stood

by my bed in white coats. But still, when I go back,
there is the Dragon and the broken glass, the vertebra
shattered, the body forced to lie still. I know better now.
I know how to throw my voice, how to lie, to reassure
someone he will live, that he will, in fact, not die.