Racquetball, draft 2


We sweat
and swat the ball against
the wall—a satisfying
pop and thrum on the tight-
strung racket cords.
The room is an empty box
filled with squeaks,
rubber elisions on the blonde
wood floor. Overhead
are white lights: this place
feels sterile, this place feels
like the slow expansion
space makes as it ages.
Behind the closed glass
pane we rally the ball
and ignore our aches,
sore arms jellied from hitting
over and over sidearm
swings, lobs and drives.
Pound out frustration, spit
the ball over the court lines.
Hands clench the handle,
(swing back, twist
leap two feet off
the floor) anticipating
the meager rush of
air and my
hair stuck to my cheek
shirt bunched.
The floor chaps: our shoes
mimic breath, short,
to the point –
that is, to the
I think of the arguments
we are not having.
I think maybe we are playing
this game tonight in a glass-walled
box the way we
want to speak:
loudly, panting,
twined in the frustrations
built up beneath our skin
and for just a moment—
the serve is mine—

I aim at the center
of your back.


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