Lacrosse Night - Iroquoia

by James Thomas Stevens
Because the boys are brown
or at very least golden,
I come
to watch
this turn of wrist,
red and smooth,

twist within the webbing
a hard truth
that could smash

two dark lips red
or leave a cold ear stinging.

Passing shirtless
but for shoulder pads,
he shakes
the sharp black points
of his hair.
Spray of sweat
on the back of my hand.

My brother,
ten years younger and infinitely kinder,
touches my arm
with four words,
That player is mean.

He's playing the game,
I don't look
at my brother
when I answer,
because tonight I've seen
in angry muscle,
a familiar tremour.

And when we leave the arena
crossing Cattaraugus Creek,
there are fires beneath the bridge,
attracting mean designs
to hang themselves neatly
on a row of shining hooks.

© 2004 James Thomas Stevens

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