Two Poems

By Charlie Dulik

Poetry

 

paul millsap

 

the sun exploded one night and invented a bunch of new colors on earth

and i was like hey, that’s pretty alright

 

me and jackson are watching some basketball

and paul millsap had a double-double

and i was like ‘nice’ and jackson was like ‘nice’

 

it’s 2015 in this story and during the post-game interview

paul millsap calls himself a radical centrist

and on one hand i was like this is 2015

he’s ahead of his time

and on the other hand i was like

it is pretty centrist to average a double-double

 

it’s 2015 so i’m still in school

and jam is still alive and mike is still alive and tony is still alive

but i can’t remember if i talked to them

about the 60-win hawks or otherwise

 

white hot meteors start crashing through the roof

of the state farm arena during the fourth quarter

but the hospitality department cleaned it right up

during a commercial break

very professional

millsap still put up 20 and 10

who does that

 

satellites start crashing into metro areas

fish start frying right in the ocean

it’s getting darker and lighter at the same time

but motorists barely notice

it’s a thursday

somewhere the first dude at a reading is like

uncomfortably horny

everyone i’ve ever been friends with is still alive

 

it’s 2015 and another efficient, balanced

eastern conference powerhouse

is soon to crumble to lebron in the second round

all the skyscrapers turn into magnifying glass lasers

gravity can’t make up its mind

nobody knows the stupidest is yet to come

people have barely even realized the sun exploded

 

 

rob’s mom

 

on his birthday

rob’s mom brings

a kids’ basketball trophy

to our office

the trophy is taller than her and we think

she found it in a dumpster

she asks us

if he still plays

 

she’s wearing the red fleece hoodie

she always wears and she smiles

like we don’t know each other

 

i go outside to call him

and to sit in the park

under the skeleton trees that wave

plastic bags at pedestrians

surrendering

 

rob’s mom sits down next to me and says

the bags are stars and the branches

are constellations

 

i say i already chose a different metaphor

and she smiles at me again

but this time like she knows me

 

i tell her that nobody ever gave me a trophy

but my grandpa gave me a middle name

i tell her he’s buried

in the same cemetery as joe dimaggio

and that he also gave me a visit to that cemetery

i ignore a call from rob and then two texts

 

she says she only wants to talk about stars

i ask her what’s the most stars she’s ever counted

and she says you can’t count stars

you can only sit outside

collecting starlight

 

i ask her why she brought rob the trophy

and she says she can’t remember

 

in a few months

she’ll steal my jacket after church

and anita’s wallet

we’ll ask for them back but

she won’t remember

where she put them

 

she asks what it’s like

where my grandpa is buried

and i tell her it’s on the top of a hill

with no trees

and no starlight

my phone rings again and i ask her

how is this possible

 

 

Charlie Dulik is an organizer in Brooklyn. You can find his writing in Cheers from the Wasteland and the Poverty and Race Journal. Tweets @sea_trains.

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