Tackle Football

- 1971-

Snow up to our waists and coming down still.
There was a field here once, when we began.
We marked the end zones and set up the goals.

Now nobody can even move, much less tackle.
I am Ganymede fleeing on a temple frieze.
We stand around like lovesick Neanderthals.

We’re Pompeian before Pompeii was hot.
We have the aspect of the classic dead
Or of stranded, shivering astronauts.

It was early in the era of the pause button:
We paused and paused the afternoons away
Indoors, blasting our ballistic erections

At the blurred bikinis of celebrities,
Then, splaying on the linoleum floor,
Awaited the apportioned pizza delivery.

Now, someone has paused us, or so it appears,
But they didn’t pause the snow, or the hour:
As the one gets higher, the other gets later.

More by Dan Chiasson

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I lack the rigor of a lightning bolt,
the weight of an anchor. I am
frayed where it would be highly useful—
and this I feel perpetually—to make a point.
 
I think if I can concentrate I might turn sharp.
Only, I don't know how to concentrate—
I know only the look of someone concentrating,
indistinguishable from nearsightedness.

It is hard for you to be near me,
my silly intensity shuffling
all the insignia of interiority.
Knowing me never made anyone a needle.