Fiction   Essays   Poetry  The Ten On Baseball Chapbooks In Memory

Sean Lause

Leaving the concert hall

She is eleven, maybe twelve,
but numbers no longer matter,
for she has heard Bach and Mozart
for the first time,
has mastered the mathematics of the wind,
the heartís algebra,
where A is not A and need not be,
and now her fingers conduct the weather
until it shivers with illuminations.

She walks, then skips, then
spins to a private pantomime
that need not reveal itself,
for she is the conductor.
Silent notes come swirling around her
in wizard colors of the new,
and the ecstatic leaves whirl
in xylophones of dance.
She feels her joy float from breath to breath.

Bezeled light dazzles round a point,
a perfect jewel, emerald, topaz, diamond,
as her will decides, for she is the conductor,
and everything is all right, for a moment all right.
Then, as the sky imagines a storm,
and the school bus pulls up,
she folds a crescendo inside a breeze,
and sets it free.

Walt Whitman at the game

Walt Whitman,
containing multitudes,
spreads his plump rump on the bleachers,
his blooming beard caressed by diamond breezes.

The umpire raises one hand in benediction.
The batter swings and swings again at nothing,
then cocks a grin as wide as a blind assumption.
The ball soars, high, higher,
seeking the looming towers of Manhattan,
angels or demons,
catchers and pitchers of the winds.

In Waltís eye, the ball, a polished moon,
folds into a dove recalling home.
Cheers wound the sky in its envy.
The grass burns the blades of its desire.

Walt Whitman absorbs it all
in the visionary marrow of his bones,
scents the fisted rosin, the silky dust,
touches the joy of the pulsing sun,
weaves the crowd with his eyes
into a pattern of his own design.

Later, he dances home, arm-in-
arm with two drunken firemen,
following a trail of apples
that have abandoned their fall.

Above, a million gaping windows devour the sun,
and in wonderís perfect silence, Walt Whitman drinks
and drinks the city night, sprinkled with blood and wine
immaculate, breathless in the ministry of stars.

©2014 by Sean Lause

Sean Lauseís poems have appeared in The Minnesota Review, The Alaska Quarterly, Another Chicago Magazine, Poetry International, Atlanta Review and The Pedestal.

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