Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A New Basketball

Of the eight possible limbs
an octopus or married couple
might bring to this
we have between us
maybe three

a left arm (mine)
to hook vague shots
at the netless rim
that clanks and wobbles
with a racket
somehow more encouraging
than swish

and your two legs
dance-trained, still strong
to shag my misses
and your own
loping toward a father
and two sons playing
round the schoolyard’s other basket

who smile good-naturedly
at a face
I can’t see (though I can)

as the gravestones
in the old Jewish cemetery
just beyond the
wrought iron fence
lean to catch
the tremor
of the drum of ball on asphalt

It was a good idea
buying this
a good idea whether or not
it loosens up the five
absentee limbs or brings blood
to the eroding cordilleras of bone
between them, they have

all been
all our years
together, a good idea–

It is not yet night
or quite dusk
though long past day
as we walk home
down the empty street
bouncing the ball
by turn between us
your hand mine
“So loud” you say
the people all inside

Light rain starts
and I see (so clearly now)
dark splotches
on the headstones clustering
and the father and his sons
packing up quickly

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