Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Basketball feat. Galileo & EPMD

I split every bit of sunlight at College Park’s ball court—
land of sweaty Rebook tees & patriotic wristbands—
escalating to the rim like every player on that court would do

to the Lafayette Square Mall mezzanine on weekends.
Every bit of tangled shine around my neck: a hypotenuse
of intention. Highlights are the only lights in my low-rise

space of sneaker to shin & elbow to crown. The only time
I dunked, the court exploded like a party hearing “You
Gots to Chill” for the first time. & when the smoke cleared,

I hung as tight as a sweaty headband on that rim, talking
smack to the other nine ballers & to their nine mamas. Then
the slipping & cracking. Then the next two months left-handing

jumpers, blurry scribbles on my cast, the basketball rotating
as insistently as the back-spinning apple that split Galileo’s wig.

Credit


From Map to the Stars (Penguin Books, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by Adrian Matejka. Used with the permission of the author.

Author


Adrian Matejka

Adrian Matejka is the author of The Big Smoke (Penguin, 2013), which was nominated for both a National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana. 

Date Published: 2019-08-20

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/basketball-feat-galileo-epmd