summer is / lime-green cement &
a fading three-point line. cracks
crawl across the court & / morning fog
smears the creaking swings / gossamer /
ghostlike / a shroud / for childhood
haunts but / you are not a child / anymore.
dribble / once, twice / crossover.
fly through the footwork / euro
step & repeat / again & again
until / your muscles memorize the
steps like / a poetry recitation /
flitting from one line / to the
next / word for word / flawless /
because good is not good enough
because you are not good enough
but god / do you try-- / euro
step & repeat / again & again.
summer is / heavy comforters &
hazy afternoons / the sun slides
your eyelids / shut. sleep away
the hour / the day / as they bleed
together & you / forget the date but
you do not care / there is nowhere
to be / & nowhere to go.
forget how to live / how to
do anything but / fall asleep as
the world falls away / forget
how to forget / for there is nothing
to remember: forget / forget what?
the sun slips / into a different
horizon / blink. what time is it
& does it matter? do you matter?
newspaper headlines march
across the page / reporting for duty /
replying. why should you live
if your life does not matter?
& you waste away / decay /
a corpse / but you cannot die
if you have not lived / and this,
this is not living: wake up.
summer is / tar-scarred asphalt &
rain-stained telephone poles / the slap
of sneakers / & swell of lungs: breathe.
dusk is an endless kind of blue as
crickets chirp beneath / chartreuse stalks
of poison parsnip / & on winds the road /
& on you go. it burns to breathe / so
you stop / as if / life will cease with your
lungs / because sleeping pills are
the wrong way to do it / and you are afraid /
so afraid-- / you breathe again &
the world blurs but you
keep running / keep going / just
one more telephone pole / one more day--
you hug the guardrail around / the bend
but nothing changes-- / & eventually you
stutter to a stop / chin to hands to
knees-- / rise again. you break
into a jog. & on winds the road /
& on you go. breathe, goddammit.