Infielder/Outfielder

 

  From the god eat god,

from the daft practice of explaining sleep to a car,

and from calling it love because of falling in it,

I’ve wanted to scream as a meditation.

I’ve taken premature ice from ice trays, apologized to Earth,

when I should’ve thanked Mars first.

But add that to the fact that one day, Michelangelo will be forgotten,

as will the man who built a house on an anthill,

same as the last person to use a payphone underneath a bridge,

same as the cop who loves to watch cop shows,

and the kid who asks his dad too many questions during movies,

movies themed on fathers and sons.

One day, all flushed away like a turtle in a tidal wave.

Until then, better people will continue to do worse things than me.

And I’ve sat people on slingshots after convincing them they were swings.

I’ve stolen the shiniest nickels in the city, just to buy salt sandwiches

and candy for girls, girls who only deserved salt sandwiches.

But still, better people have done worse things than me,

on their way to being better people than me.

That’s the dark part of a dream, not the dream where I’m

at the plate, bottom of the 9th , bases loaded, down by three.

Not that dream. Although left-handed, I should’ve been a pitcher,

or an infielder, or outfielder. No, I should’ve been a pitcher.

My first quote would’ve been,

“I didn’t give up a hit. I was setting up a double play.”

But no. Not that dream. And if nap now,

I can wake up by the 8th inning, raise my head by the middle of the 9th,

and then contemplate screaming as a meditation.

It may be the one thing everyone in the world should do at once.

 

 

 John Franklin Dandridge received his M.F.A. in Poetry from Columbia College Chicago. His chapbook of poems, Further Down Rd., was published in 2010 by Fast Geek Press. He has poems published in past issues of Callaloo Journal, 12 Point Collective, and Former People. Franklin lives and writes near the North Pond in Chicago.

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