Pregame ritual

August 24, 2016

 

Here in the basement of the Espresso Royale
                                     on Sixth Street in this land grant university town,
            amid English Fog lattes and keypad-clatter,
                                     in the afternoon before the all-hallows-eve in which Katie,
            a great-great-et-cetera granddaughter
                        of the townswoman they hanged for the crime
                                                of witchcraft, will play a game—homo ludens
                        of volleyball against the maize-and-blue Michigan Wolverines
I draft a missive to the good citizenry of Dorchester as though they might yet
                                                                          happen upon these words,
                                                             as though their revivified selves were a short gallop
                                    from this latitude and longitude, as though their sins
            of omission and commission might still be forgiven—
                        not just forgotten—by an act of penance that includes
                                                a pilgrimage to tonight’s venue and a maniacal cheering
                        for this descendent as she executes (I didn’t invent the language)
                                                a perfect play that culminates in (really, I didn’t) a kill.
            Full stop because
                                      I don’t know how to end this letter.
                                                                         So I do what
                                                                         I always do:
                                                                         continue breaking
                                                              lines
            and staggering
                                     down the page until
                                                                                               it’s time to witness
                                                              more volleyball and cheer like nothing
                                                                                               else ever happens or matters.