499 Readings


Two mitts and a ball pressed to my chest,
muffling my heart
-thumping in my ears!-
And I beg him to play with me, just a short catch,
I promise, and he, in his summer suit and tanned
leather face
-he came straight from work-
agrees to a very short catch, and I flit the ball at
him, heaving with all my might, and throwing
from the elbow, like a girl
the seventeen year cicada white noise is useful,
and the ball slaps leather, and it sounds like it
hurt, but it didn’t, and he wants to go in to supper
-he’s been taking steps towards the door-
but I won’t let him, just one more throw, please,
that’ll be it,
but the light has been stretched
thin and the streetlights are on, and it worries him.

I can see it in his creased forehead, but he agrees
to one more soft throw
and he heaves, hard, wanting to get it over with,
and I lose the ball
-in the greying sky-
and then it finds my left eye and I scream
tears heave themselves out, I yelp
like a dog that’s been stepped on, and mommy
comes to
the door, and she yells at him
-can’t you see its dark-
why would you, and there is leatherslap again
and I’m away

borne up with the cicada’s song through the stars,
and the music tucks me gently into bed, to nurse
whatever wounds have purpled me, and they don’t
realize I’m not with them, outside, kneeling in my
gym shorts on the dewy grass, as I had been, and I
know this city has made them mean, my thumper
gets loud my whole head is purple with the sound
but they’ve been drowned out I race to sleep
safely on my pillowcase, full of saltsmell.
Posted 03/01/11
Comments (0)