The Art of Shooting in the Dark

after Pedro Pietri

We were      nocturnal players, 

Bats in ball,      & ever since Don Pedro said 

There are Puerto Ricans      on the moon 

The night is      my cousin      & the clustered stars 

My cousin      & Saturn’s little ring of smoke      my second cousin 

Though not the same ring      as a freshly snapped Medalla bottle      which

My abuelo      also named Pedro      apparently liked too much 

But back to the moon      the first rock      dollop of sugar  

& slinging hoop in the dark      which we learned was a game

      of approximation

Less math      more muscle memory      less Mozart      more Machito 

Like descarga      more riff      more wrist. 

We set our eyes      on not seeing      but feeling a thing through, indeed

From elbow to hip      wherever the orange lip might lead

Copyright © 2022 by Denice Frohman. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 6, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.