Vol. 2, No. 2: We Don’t Care Who Wins photo

Ballgame Adam Gianforcaro

Baseball, I warrant, is not the whole
occupation of the aging boy.

—Donald Hall

 

A bat next to the bed for safety, 

for just in case, because the boy 

furthest from the door has watched 

Funny Games far too many times 

to not fear the nature of man. 

We’re not gun guys, hence the bat. 

Not sports guys either, unless 

we’re talking the stickball scene 

in It Takes Two, starring the Olsen twins. 

 

My husband and I still go to a game 

once a year or so, for the food 

and the fanfare. We don’t care 

who wins. At Pride Night one season,

I stuffed a Phillies-branded rainbow flag 

between my legs. More fear than fetish. 

It was clear the ballpark bros didn’t know 

it was Pride Night, or didn’t care. 

Side-eyes one beer away from aggressor.

 

Later though, we found a corner 

of the stadium to smile and take a photo 

with the flag. I looked happy but out 

of place. Sean wore his cap backward 

like an It Takes Two stand-in. 

Back in school, baseball meant 

sexual exploration: first base, third base, 

home run. But there is no first base 

in the men’s only league. Anything worthwhile 

 

happens in the dugout after a rain delay. A kiss 

on one cheek, an imprint of a cleat on the other. 

The remake of Funny Games kept the same 

director and was filmed nearly shot for shot 

to the 1997 original. Shot for shot—

it can mean many things, so many ways 

to mark a body. I’ve been lucky so far, blessed 

with enough rigidity to pass. Enough foresight 

to blend in and become the infield.

 

When I can’t sleep, I imagine myself as Hughie Jennings 

on deck. I replay hit-by-pitch scenarios in my head. 

When it’s my go, I step to the plate empty-handed, 

having left the only bat I own back in the bedroom. 

A voice in the crowd yells a slur. The crowd performs 

the wave. Stadium lights soon give in to night. 

The hiss of electricity overpowered by a brief 

and impatient silence. Then there’s the sound 

of wind. A velocity one can never fully prepare for.