The next season
(Eyes wide) a dream breathing—
baseball played with instinct,
by teammates pushed by history.
Once on a summer night
when the moths flickered in the lights
Joe Bathanti came through,
and the runs flowed under lights,
the infield held,
the bullpen had stamina.
But today headlines speak
of dusty fatigue,
sloppy errors, a breakdown,
while the usual down river October teams
scrap and steal extended sun.
In the shadows collect herniated disks,
substance abuse, collapsing knees,
one too many West Coast trip for this blue team.
Once again the tired truth—
whole decades drift to mediocrity
when the final losing slide breaks the will,
and hope becomes cruel illusion.
A shiny trophy prepares to follow the highway
to St. Louis, and points further West,
and good riddance, good riddance,
and move this season to forgotten.
Today a scar regains its color,
and I know I have wasted my love.
Without thinking, I spit,
and kick at the fever wiggling
in the dirt.