Playing touch football in the field by our house
my feet turned into fireballs.
They didn’t singe the grass
because they were made out of a special kind of fire
that was so hot and fast it didn’t leave a mark.
I’d burn past anything that tried to capture me,
whether I actually was the end zone or not.
Or I could stand on the sidelines
and scratch my head and make faces
at the players wearing my jersey,
and believe just by standing there
looking like a dick
I had generated a larger version of myself.
Forgetting I wasn’t part of it, was part of the magic
of rediscovering how I was the whole of it,
like the time I went to basketball camp
expecting them to keep me at guard when
I found I’d been assigned the position of a forward
and found myself stuffing a center two feet taller than me
between beads of my sweat that seemed to hang in air
like I’d broken time over my knee and would never land.
Besides wanting the freedom of an astronaut,
I wanted to be a point of view
that was always my acknowledging
I could never see the point of time
when every moment became of past without
a handle to hold onto,
every so called opportunity
a wish to slow down and take myself back.
People are like flowers,
or say all the things they have to say
and do all the things they have to do
to get their ground just right
so that one day just like that
they find themselves alone in a field of unknowing
and start to open and can’t stop opening,
even when they don’t want to, even if they’re a sociopath,
the sun and rain that helps a flower grow
is really just a metaphor for how happiness and sadness both
help us grow up and be kind and realize we can’t help it.
We’re not our shame and guilt. No matter what,
we’re impossible and good and too beautiful for words.
And I believe that. I do.
But I also believe silence is a metaphor for prayer,
and that people are like a lot of things
including everything they think they’re not like.
Man is a location.
What I’m asking for is a way to go there.