Vol. 1, No. 1: The First Pitch photo

Psalm #3 Avery Gregurich

for Babe Ruth

 

Even in death, the Babe could draw, so
they planted his coffin at the main gate,
opened up the lid, and sold concessions.
For two days they let them all see the
savior, precious oil poured over his head,
formaldehyde thick in his veins. Someone was
hired to swat the flies. Thousands came to lift
up kids to the rim, holding baseballs each that
later were put into attic boxes. On the third
day, he did not rise, but his body was gone,
taken away from the house he’d built by
men in the night. Nevermind that some of
these mourners would decades later mail
threats to Hank Aaron, saying they’d kidnap
his daughter, use a hunting rifle on him
from the nosebleeds if he kept on swinging. No,
no, no. It’s best to ruminate on the King. See
him smoking in that pointed crown, pledging a
finger toward heaven where the next pitch was
headed. Later he appeared to Benny in a VHS
dream saying “Legends never die.” And so it has
always been. I’m straight wrong: America’s pastime
is not all chalkdust real estate, carpet-bombing
neighborhoods to erect monolithic cathedrals
where men attempt to get other men out, forever.
Instead, I like to recite Psalms 133. It starts “How
good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together
in unity!” I read the rest aloud from a page I found
blowing at the edge of a cornfield after harvest. It was
torn, naturally, and it brushed me back a little, holding
names like Aaron and Herman right there together, as if
God always thought home runs were a thing worth
dying over.