one level up, where the heads of monsters lurked
under dimmed lights, a shrink-wrapped coven.
It was as if the store didn’t want to let them go,
as if they were that plush gift-shop creature
we had craved before the clerk scared us
by sobbing goodbye to it. We just left it there.
Years later, we would hear a rumor that pro wrestling
wasn’t real, that half our heroes had been taking a dive.
No one ever told us Floor Two had housed the bargain bin,
disgraces propped up by forgotten cables and moon boots.
Before the grease paint came off to reveal four standard men,
we would keep our masks on, thwarting those not made up.
"The Core" by Denny Marshall
"The Used Robot" by Denny Marshall