Basketball

Monday, June 19, 2017

One thing that no longer appeals to me—
at all—is hedonism. I have washed it
from my life like inexpensive shampoo.
I have rinsed it from my smooth body
like the green apple body wash.
Hedonism not only no longer appeals
to me, it no longer applies to me.
Like the banks of fluorescent lights
buzzing over the high school gym,
so cold and remote yet still luminous
pure pleasure has become. The lights
that strobe sporadically as high tops squeak
and coaches’ whistles chirp, echoing
and answering, during the big game of big
boy bodies! From the game of pleasure
have I now fouled out. See me
on the bench with a white towel
around my neck. See how I dry my face
with one end of the towel. How
disappointed my parents and sister must be.
Ready for a more necessary shower
I now am, and then to A&W for a cone,
and then to home and homework
and then, before brushing teeth:
Hedonism’s promise descended
into the hotter buzz of the bug zapper
hanging outside over our back deck,
near a resin chair where I now sit
smoking one of Dad’s Marlboros before bed.
One cigarette I snuck is now my night’s
last light, a lighted cherry dwindling:
a stubbed theme, no vision,
starless night—brush teeth and go to bed.

• • •
 

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