Under The Big Tent

Taut ropes, clenched teeth, rubber armor,/ wind’s tenor high up in the sky, a choir below/but there’s no easy way out, symptoms masked/ Yes sir ,we’ve heard a great deal about masking symptoms/Till the arms are putty dough, no muscle, /but the arms make a sharp noise of popping/I recall those evenings I pitched baseballs /with something called a stretch curve/Sun still up, under hot lights/Then in the stands, hands buried past the hem of a faded housedress/ Before this, tube wrapped around one arm/not yet putty dough,(like I said)/Glass , color of  mercurochrome, silver taste of gelatin on the tongue/the sight of racing tigers ,a shot and a beer/Sunday morning , trying a smile /Reckless player in the mirror, /an  opponent,  buckshot lover/as arms curve in embrace:/the 2am kryptonite click ,cord across the  arm/And didn’t they once say,/ the have what they call  a stretch curve:/at twi-nite Doubleheaders, ramps leaning upwards,lamps aglow/ Lonely shop talk conceals moves: a stretch curve /Later, a  razor scrapes across the blotched nape/ lobby smells of unguents in an old hotel/ Famous ,for Goodman and Sinatra /A place of card games;  jazz  drifting towards the balconies/Sunlight patches stain the  floor;/framed in the barber’s mirror: /a dying Moran runner on his last breath /pitching a stretch curve.

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