from Football Poem

Keegan Lester

neither of us can be who we are without football. it’s true the way a cardinal can’t be a cardinal
without both wind beneath it and red about it and some nights when i look out into it, into the night
and the blacks so close to blue, i can pretend that there’s something that tastes better than the pharmaceutical dust i fell for at fifteen, that could make spirals of color of the stars, of the bulbs
around our movie theater’s marquee, the halos that my grandmother could see too. she called them christmas one evening when she was driving and we knew she needed cataract surgery, but we wasn’t gonna say a damned thing. i can feel that christmas now, looking out into it. into just beyond the visitor’s grandstand of bleachers. just beyond that. my hand twitching is an indian love call, the slim whitman version and i can hear it over and over in my head, those guitars sliding. it sounds the way i imagine hawaii might sound. but there aren’t any indians in hawaii and that was the part of the song
most troubling. this is a voice or moon or field of light that can make you forget for a moment the road
in which you first chose to take. i was like you, down there, beautiful and fatalistic and a body filling time and space. i once was nothing too, nothing chained that couldn’t be unchained by stadium light.

Keegan Lester has lived in four states in the last five years. He doesn’t mind airports. He’s super proud to be his grandmother’s grandson. He is the poetry editor and cofounder of the journal Souvenir. His poems have been published in The Adroit Journal, The Journal, CutBank, Powder Keg, inter|rupture, Blunderbuss, BOAAT, and Sink Review, among others. Keegan has also been featured on Coldfront, The New School writing blog, as Yes Poetry’s Poet of the Month, and is an active member of the New York City Poetry Brothel.