I played two years, got one hit.
One hit only. Dad tried to help.
One hit. No friends of mine
on the team.
These were regal,
magisterial boys. Trotting bases,
nose-breathing. Prize horses.
I swear they did not sweat.
Once, alone in right field
I had to piss so bad
I closed my eyes
and saw the blood dancing.
I wanted them dead,
I saw them dead, laid in boxes,
each clasping a bat
on his little pillow, cleats up.
Cut in their full beauty
like poisonous flowers.
John Wall Barger is a contract editor at Frontenac House; former editor at Painted Bride Quarterly; essayist and book reviewer in Kenyon Review Online, Poetry Northwest, Rain Taxi, Literary Matters, and others. He teaches in the BFA Program for Creative Writing at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. (johnwallbarger.com)
“Those Boys” will be featured in Resurrection Fail, his forthcoming book from Spuyten Duyvil Press. For more information or to pre-order Resurrection Fail, click here.