July 4, 2010

Luke Johnson

THE HEART, LIKE A BOCCE BALL

The jack sits low in the grass. We’re dead drunk,
cannonballing across the lawn, gouging
handful divots, each of us still nursing
a tumbler of scotch brought home from the wake.
We sons and brothers and cousins. I spin
my ice and let that black-tie loosening
buzz swarm. The others choose the sky, looping
pop-flies that swirl with backspin, an earthen
thud answering grunts while the soft dirt caves.
I bowl instead, slow-ride hidden ridges—
the swells buried beneath the grass—carving
a curve, a line from start to stop, finish.
The heart, like a bocce ball, is fist-sized
and firm; ours clunk together, then divide.

from Rattle #32, Winter 2009
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