Issue Twenty-Four - Summer 2014

Park Bench Behind the Diamond

By Marcus Clayton

“Fall in love and get married then boom
How the hell did it get here so soon?”
-Tom Waits, “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up”

On the other side,
of the viridescent fence—
upturned chain-link at the feet
trench too small
for our torn
sneakers to sneak under—
are children
children, children.
Little capsules of verve
playing soccer with their hands,
goalie covering home plate.
Girls shove boys, boys
laugh at their grated knees,
smiling without rules
without the disconcerted
knowledge that, “you
gotta use your feet.”

Thankfully, we can’t
crawl under the fence
to warn them, as we sit
as cracked statues, holding each
other’s frost tipped hands,
only staring forward
finding rust over the green
holes within the links,
weak as bended branch,
our shoulders touch only
to bridge ants, my free
hand warmer in pocket
fingering loosed thread, ring
finger buried under lint.

Copyright 2014 Clayton