A Sailboat on a Baseball Field
A journalist covering Hurricane Irma
reports it, and I’m thinking it must be a wondrous
sight, the sail rippling in the high winds
as the baseball dust is kicked up, a locus of sorts
for the era—an abstract clock telling
the time in poetry’s timezone, so many hours away
that the hours lose their meaning. Like always,
I just quit telling my wife about the kid I don’t like
at school, the parent who said I was racist
because I wouldn’t let his kid cheat on a test.
So, I’d rather think about a sailboat on a baseball field,
even if it’s at the expense of the people in Florida
hunkered down, watching this very scene perhaps
from a tall, Miami skyscraper—of course,
being so close to Cuba they might say un velero
sobre un campo de béisbol and smile, thinking
of Jose Marti, that sincere man from where
the palm trees grow. The same palm trees some
journalists are now calling projectiles.
We inhabit a bottom feeder world.
The pink rocks, the catfish, loaches,
sturgeon, carp, for the business of cleaning,
tending the lower half of the pressurized sphere,
below the goldfish, the tetras and swordtails,
plundering the depths for flakes of brine
and shrimp; knowing our place and keeping it
—for it feels rather sudden, the children
we bore and care for, the moon and its moon
business, palm trees and the balmy summer air,
all this goes. Our friends know it. And they
take breaks from it, as Schopenhauer said
one must, in a cave of art or on a planet of music.
In the bottom feeder world we must mind
our bounds. My father warned me: “In America,
you can only go so far.” The false surface
he meant, that seemed to glisten. Father knew
it so well, the job we’re meant to do.
About the Author: Alejandro Escudé’s first book of poems, My Earthbound Eye, was published in September 2013. He holds a master’s degree in creative writing from UC Davis and teaches English. Originally from Argentina, Alejandro lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.