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No Hitter, Ninth Inning
By Sarah Freligh


Two down, his hands too big, wider than shovels and heavier, hanging from his wrists, the windup, the pitch high and outside. Could argue that it nicked the corner, fuck it, walk, spit, breathe, inoutinoutinoutinout in time to the angel choir singing in his head, gloria in excelsis deo, Gloria in first grade deo, stuck a blue crayon in her underpants, made Al pay her a dime to get it back, took his red crayon too then, Gloria Dombrowski. Supposes Gloria is a hooker someplace wearing black underpants bulging with the crayons of businessmen on long lunches, gloria in a whorehouse deo, got away with one there, right down the pipe, the batter so surprised he lunges at it, too late, tipping it foul into the upper deck, two strikes now, the batter steps out, says something to Boonie who nods and laughs, something about gloria, yeah, in excelsis deo, the batter leaning in again, gold 21 hanging heavy from his neck, pulling him toward the plate into strike three swinging and Al is drowning under a tide of bodies and the tsunami of sound that crashes down on him, AL! AL! AL! poking staccato holes in heaven through which angels will fall, Gloria in excelsis deo . . .

Nothing, Al says to reporters who crowd his locker. I wasn't thinking of nothing out there.


Formerly a sportswriter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, SARAH FRELIGH's poetry and short stories have been published in Cimarron Review, Third Coast, Iowa Woman, Painted Bride Quarterly, Aethlon and Comstock Review. "No-Hitter" is from her collection in progress entitled Chin Music.

© 2000 Sarah Freligh


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