Clark Kent shoots baskets in the Smallville High gym

January 31, 2015

I miss enough; no one suspects
that these Buddy Holly glasses
disguise a freak. Lonely as God
I pump up threes. Every third one
I bang off the front of the rim.

“Elevate, Clark!” My coaches hiss,
prescribing more jump squats,
plyometrics and toe raises.
I nod, and will myself to sweat,
an alkaline tear trickling.

I am not the star; I play D
and break our opponents’ presses.
I am the two-hand chest passer;
I box out and dive for loose balls.
No one notices my knees won’t scrape.

Or that I never take a charge.
I cannot hurt them, though I know
the way it ends in ash and flame.
So I will bounce this basketball.
So I will play this fucking game.

What scares me more than kryptonite
is rumored immortality.
The thought of an eternal soul,
is cold anathema to me.

And so I shoot and miss and shoot
and only raise myself so high
for they are all I have to love
and all of them are going to die.

As will their world and universe.
And all their art and suffering
recorded in my super mind
will not amount to anything.


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