For Tim

suggesting I name ten things I truly believe, which is really fucking impossible

I believe in Bobby Higginson

the working class hero
my father who rises every morning
before it is morning
to hurl watt after watt like lightning bolts
from the open blisters of his palms.

I believe in being five
my father teaching me to throw
in the backyard/ our house on Crescent Avenue:
almost no arc on the ball
watched it tail

as a ten inch comet
to my father’s open mitt.

I believe in drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon
between innings
bruise like a lunar eclipse on one thigh
being knocked unconscious
waking with the ball still in my glove.

I believe in protecting the plate.

I believe in falling in love
with baseball players:
the way a man’s quadriceps change
when he is crouched behind the plate
the certain perfection of a
fundamentally sound swing

the feathery gradations infield dirt makes
on home jerseys;

I believe in the legends, the way my father
has always seemed like Roger Maris to me
all quiet statements and no eye contact
cement dust creasing into his elbows
a whole universe of power in those forearms

Joel Zumaya’s arms,
the flame tattoos engulfing them as red giants

the one gold moon
encircling my father’s ring finger

resting on his chest
when he falls asleep on the couch
covering the logo on his shirt:


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