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By John Grey

You're hitting .190.
The realization lingers longer
than the stench
of dressing room sweat.
That average is
the guy in the bar
whose rear end
swallows the stool beside you,
probes your sorry stats
like fingers prodding
the beginnings of your beer gut.
Your failures are strung out
by this mutual drowning of sorrows,
one beer for you,
one for that overwrought testimony
to the failed bunt,
the misread signal,
the pathetic whiff,
the descent of facial features
into helplessness
as slow curveball strike
floats by dumb lumber.
Some nights,
stadiums fit so easily
inside dark bars,
boos foam up atop the swirl
of bitter amber
and .190,
that unwanted companion,
encourages you to have
another and another and another.


JOHN GREY is an Australian-born poet and Boston Red Sox fan living in Providence, Rhode Island. His work was recently published in National Forum and Riversedge.

© 2001 John Grey


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