Derrick Poem (The Lost World)
I take my $, buy a pair of very bright kicks for the game at the bottom of the hill on Tuesday w / Tone who averages 19.4 points a game, & told me about this spot, & this salesman w / gold ringed fingers fitting a $100 dollar NBA Air Avenger over the white part of me–my sock, my heel & sole, though I tell him Avengers are too flashy & buy blue & white Air Flights w / the dough I was suppose to use to pay the light bill & worse, use the change to buy an Ella Fitzgerald CD at Jerrys, then take them both in a bag past salesmen & pedestrians to the C where there is a girl I'd marry if I was Pablo Neruda & after 3, 4 blocks, I spill out humming "April in Paris" while a lady w / a 12 inch cigar calls the driver a facist cuz he won't let her smoke on the bus & skinny Derrick rolls up in a borrowed Pontiac w / room for me, my kicks & Ella on his way to see The Lost World alone & though I think the title could mean something else, I give him some skin & remember the last time I saw him I was on the B-ball court after dark w / a white girl who'd borrowed my shorts & the only other person out was Derrick throwing a Spalding at the crooked rim no one usually shoots at while I tried not to look his way & thought how we used to talk about black women & desire & how I was betraying him then creeping out after sundown with a girl in my shorts & white skin that slept around me the 5 or 6 weeks before she got tired of late night hoop lessons & hiding out in my crib there at the top of the hill Derrick drove up still talking, not about black girls, but dinosaurs which if I was listening could have been talk about loneliness, but I wasn't, even when he said, "We should go to the movies sometime," & stopped.
From Muscular Music by Terrance Hayes, published by Tia Chucha Press. Copyright © 1999 by Terrance Hayes. Reprinted by permission of Terrance Hayes. All rights reserved.
The 2010 winner of the National Book Award in poetry, Terrance Hayes is the author of five poetry collections. He currently serves on the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets.
Date Published: 1999-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/derrick-poem-lost-world