Saturday, September 25, 2004

Mickey Mantle's Mistress by Michael Baker

Is it always my fault if the meat

is too rare, the wine still corked?

Even in my foothold in the sheets

I dream of sundaes and earthquakes,

not these baseball bats of sterling silver.

There’s no line between desire and despair:

Cleveland has already made that mistake.

You say that older players also feed

on manuals, suntan lotion, and dusty statistics,

that like soldiers they are alone,

stripping others near warming showers

and sleeping until noon,

giving away broken shoelaces for parting gifts.

I see only wrinkles and smoky voodoo

and won’t learn how to live here there.

I think now I may let you both go

for my knees ache: I’m going to squat

and piss on your pinstriped knick-knacks

and in my will leave my underwear

to wives, the dirty parts highlighted.

For you, I’ll give back your damned jockstrap: too bad

Jesus left his penis on the cross.

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