Basketball Poem

The men on the sideline wearing
warm up suits exist. Head coaches
often spring from their seats like
volatile prairie dogs. How players
prove nightly that existence

is futile. When MCLs and Achilles heels
pop, glistening athletes in sheets
of agony, the hopes of entire cities
dribbled into dust, as if there will no longer
be dusk or success. How fucking stupid

I think wasting hours each week
with sneaker squeaks inside gyms raised
to basilica status. The surgeries I’ve had
and catheters and how these men
are overused, old at thirty-five, ancient

at forty. Brawls and head-butts at half court,
enlarged hearts, divine idolatry. All this bliss
and dormant rage. To see people develop
and endure then get bled by the burden
they were pushed to accept.

Never Wisconsin

These arteries breed cheese.
Dairy cows stampede toward
failure. It’s important to allow
yourself some negativity.
Consolatory cuts, babycakes.
You’re under my thumb,
the weather, cover your
eyes and melt in the river.
The meat falls off your bones.
Consider this your cheat day.
Consider how stubborn men
raze the state capitol
to improve the infrastructure
of approval ratings. Go hollow.
Go bless the sports stadium.
These factories make graters
and heart craters. What’s your
wrong turn? Saying education
is for leeches or teachers
sluggish with tenure?
The wizard refuses to reveal
himself or ask you to dance.
Not everyone wants to tango.
Fine folks footing the hills,
homes made of credit cards,
do they know what it means
to be haunted? They know
what it means to be haunted
and cornered. Your sadness
is another’s glitzy beach wedding.
Your sadness is merino.
Your sadness breathes well.