Tracers

By Todd Boss

Let’s say one day
the ballgame from
the day before mysteriously
rematerializes in the form of
tracers—each pitch,
each hit, each catch,
each toss, each
criss and crisscross
marked—chalked
in air—here, there—
reiterated, the way a
window, fogged,
remembers the last
things third graders
wrote with fingers
on it. Let’s say it
rendered the field
unplayable so they
let you walk it.
They would. It’d be
a big attraction—
tracers interlacing,
crepe paper streamers
of a pastime past,
most between bases
and the rest of the
bands connecting
home plate with
the outfield or even
the stands in some
cases—inning on
inning of contrails
twinning and twining
in defining strands
as if the ball’d been
string. It might
not mean anything
but it would be odd.
My god, you’d say
at the sight, ducking
the not-quite-straight
line of a line drive to
right, remarking how
much of the game,
which seemed so
grounded last night,
is in fact in flight—
pure energy
transferred from giving
hand to waiting
glove, the way our
lives are made of
thought and love
and word and prayer
in particle or wave
surrounding every
numbered and
unnumbered player
on the planet in a
dome of light
that stadiums us,
immense, between
the dugout caves we
crawled from and the
outfield fence.

Todd Boss’s books are published by W. W. Norton and Simon & Schuster. His
poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The London Times, The
American Poetry Review,
and Best American Poetry. His lyrics have been performed
at Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and around the world. He is the founder
of Motionpoems, whose poetry films have been presented in Cannes, London,
New York, Los Angeles, and elsewhere.

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