Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Tuesday poem #292 : Lauren Haldeman : LETTER HOME ON THE THIRD DAY

Listen, I am so fast.

I am fast. Listen, the team’s mouth moves

from across the field: hustle. Blood-

shot, their mouth is saying

it is out of bounds. I have

to pay attention. Center half-back

and their mouths

are letting out long lines. Blood-

shot, the field blurs, the field it

rushes to their mouths. If I look

& won’t have missed it, I will have paid attention.

Many times are lost in time

beneath the dark red-clay. So they told & the joke goes:

he threw a white stone in

a red sea. The oarsman had a white stone

& he threw it in the sea. When it comes back

to his hand what color will it be?

Center half-back, their mouth moves.

It is all gums.

They know what they are saying.

This time out-of-bounds blood-

shot and I didn’t pay attention.

Coach has his playbook, it is

red-streaked. His mouth is where

the cardinals are leashed. It is a stone’s

throw away, and believe me, really:

red is the pigment of cardinals unleashing.

Center half-back says hustle back.

I will go back.

I will hustle back.

They know what they are saying.

I am fast. I am so fast.

My legs, they blend and kneed.

Coach’s playbook is pouring something.

Coach’s playbook is in his hands.

He washes his hands off, he gets

it off. Blood-

shot, I am so fast, on a breakaway.

Out-of-bound, I am so fast,

the pigment it’s all over.

Lauren Haldeman is the author of Instead of Dying (winner of the 2017 Colorado Prize for Poetry, Center for Literary Publishing, 2017), Calenday (Rescue Press, 2014) and the artist book The Eccentricity is Zero (Digraph Press, 2014). Her work has appeared in Tin House, Colorado Review, Fence, The Iowa Review and The Rumpus. A comic book artist and poet, she has been a recipient of the Sustainable Arts Foundation Award, the Colorado Prize for Poetry and fellowships from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. You can find her online at http://laurenhaldeman.com

The Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

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