V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics




Sneaker-squeak on gym floor, referee whistle—
sounds of sound stopping. Everybody hears
and knows this: Indoor light, mildew smell
of old towel. Empty gym and the team practicing.
Like a tabletop aquarium tank with a few sick
hardy fish surviving; the deep-sea diver,
feet planted in acid-color poprock pebbles,
blows bubbles bluely upward. The power forward’s
boyfriend highlights page after textbook page
(American History from World War II: Vietnam
through the Reagan era this week—Mrs. Dugan’s
a Jimmy Carter fan so she’ll linger a whole day there)
under reinforced windows on a high bleacher
unknowing, bored, resisting inside the system.


© by Daisy Fried


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