He didn’t hit
so much as bless the leather—
I don’t think it made a sound.
Like anyone, we wanted our briefest violences
tinged with such grace.
We wore our caps backward,
waited for chances we never took
to dive for a deep fly.
Young and powerless, we wanted a game
worth losing, bodies worth breaking, to feel
how impossible contact could be
a kind of beauty even we could know
the way our bones come to learn the size of us,
the way our limbs could sing into flight,
how we couldn’t hear the crack
until we were already running.