A Rain of Free Throws


In the morning you read the wind.

Determine its direction

from a jealousy window

unrolling mountains,

suspecting the world in your hands

may have lost its bounce

but the supple leather feels good in fingers

that set the spinning motion,

one shot

unbalanced and off course

is replaced by poise for the next launch

from a line you cannot cross,

the past and the future,

the flow and what’s forced,

divisions are remedied

under rafters of protective monkey pod trees.

You heave a ball at a metal rim

and forget everything.

The lingering dog bite sore,

the residual burn from yesterday’s war,

the rhythm proceeds

when you are no longer keeping score,

from the mysterious streaks you store

sunlit on an asphalt pyre,

while Pu’owaina,

the hill of sacrifice,

rises above neighbor and cemetery

like the arc of memory

in last night’s moon

as it completes its swoon through the sky,

a swish at the end of an enlightened try,

in nets that arrested you

like a rain of free throws,

one moment of serenity,

the valley dried out after wet weeks

to offer light

a welcome leap

on a court you alone are sovereign to,

this perfect morning meditating

on the trajectory of a lush sweep inward.

The imaginary crowd sounds its applause

before it falls silent.