(In honor of March Madness, one of my older poems has been resurrected)
He practices dribbling that ball
until his hands feel numb
the tiny rubber nubs of its surface
leaving a pattern of bruises; small
purple blue freckles that eventually
fade to yellow.
His jump shot isn’t perfect; it’s
a miscalculation, the geometry of
his body not quite where it should
be, and so the ball only
caresses the net some of the time.
He likes the thud of the ball
against the pavement,
it makes the world sound hollow,
it reminds him of an inside-out
He puts up with each miss, each
time the ball rolls away, for the anticipation
of that one perfect moment
when it hits its target; that
sweet swish of nothing but net.