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A Poem That Takes Place on September 26th photo

My legs on yours, in the stadium lights,
I have only just learned your name.
You point, across the outfield,
at the worst fight we will ever have.

I can barely make it out in the crowd
of afternoon movies and mutual friends’ birthdays,
but we both know it is there.

I just moved to New York City.
I haven’t bought a Mets cap yet.
Instead I wear the color of your voice
when I call and wake you up.

Stand to stretch, knock over your radio.
Walk-up music we know half the words to.
We both claim to have taught each other this song.

We share a hot beer and make fun of people.
Everyone leaving early to beat the traffic reminds us
of next Christmas, when I get too drunk
and you walk me home from the party
and you make my apologies for me.

We catch sight of my worst secret.
You flag down a vendor
and buy enough cotton candy
to sugar-coat everything.
You would tell me a secret too
if you had any.
I feel better for a while.

We share one stick of gum
to rid our teeth of peanuts.
You ask if I remember yet
the last words you will say to me.
When I don’t, you shrug and call your mother.
You tell her I love her too,
because it’s tradition.

On my way to the bathroom I get lost
in the team shop.
I buy a hat, distressed, retro-style,
though it smells like fresh hot plastic.

I pay too much, but in the end,
I know it will be better,
not to have anything of yours to give back.

I find my way to our cheap seats.
There you are, fast asleep.
The game is tied.

I set the radio upright,
slip my hand into yours. I close my eyes.
I listen and pretend I know what’s going on.


image: Alana Salguero