First baseball game I’ve seen this season– game seven
of the World Series, Houston versus Washington. A sea
of orange in Texas. Scherzer versus Springer. Joe Buck
talks about muscle injections, pinched nerves, breaking
ball– full count. He says this series is full of big swings,
big emotions– isn’t that a normal week? Dad watched
every Cleveland game. Ever. For a summer I did,
too, but October is chillier than usual. Last week, we
buried my oldest brother. We used to play sports
games– Triple Play 2000, Gran Turismo– on the
basement’s cold, brown carpet, where all physics
hurtled toward inevitable destinations: a ball singing
through the air into a blurry glove, or tires spinning
through some grainy tunnel. We’d trade wins, half-
luck, but there was always a conclusion. Last year,
I held his hand in the hospital. He squeezed my
fingers and said what he couldn’t with his eyes.
Last week, he didn’t get the kidney he needed.
When Washington wins, I see men cry on each
other’s shoulders. When my brother dies, my brother
cries on my shoulder. I cry on his shoulder.
And when we look at each other,
we find someone we both miss.
(originally published in Knot Literary Magazine, Fall 2021)
all this balance nothing to show for it
seesaw the most patient of virtues–
get up god damn it
when you fall can you please get the fuck up
lemons fire from cannons
zest on my back
& I am always running
can’t say the words right in my head
but in the glitch of No Music just levers clicking
& motherfuckers shouting woo! in the sorry
(originally published in TRIBES, Fall 2021)
We can work on puzzles all day,
watch the patterns move
from one color to the other.
Block colors twist in gradients
until blending into something else.
The sun removes itself
from the scene, shifts
behind a cloud,
creates a change in light,
a block of bricks on a building
slightly darker than the rest.
(originally published in SOFT CARTEL, 2018)
boys who would be future men
squealed at new Pokemon.
mimicked moves, karate'd birds
flapping and winging and flinging
OVER NINE THOUSAND!
miles per hour
eight-dollar K-B Toys
blue mega man
onto metal bunk
sprints'a from kitchen, lotsa surge,
hi-ye-ho bullet train
digging through purple bin
homemade pogs; on one side
the cut-out cartoons
from game manuals, Zero so cool
his long blonde hair, red armor
give me his sword no
rise to heroes controlled
control was so easy
yes, yes, think of life–
death in digital terms
those boys were the masters then
the future men and their
cold basement summers
(originally published in Suburban Diaspora)