Vol. 1, No. 4: Shammgod Unbound photo

Two Basketball PoemsLeigh Chadwick

Sestina Makes the Playoffs

Jimmy Butler plays Jimmy Buckets in a movie about Jimmy Buckets

draining dreams off the cliff of a pier in South Beach, Sleepless in Miami,

based on a true story, inspired by the sharpness of welded cheekbones

pressed pillow-deep, scissors next to a faceless picture of last year’s MVP,

cans of Milwaukee’s Best littering the parking lot of what used 

to be the American Airlines Arena. Now it’s the FTX Arena.


Nothing stays. In LA, it was the Staples Center. Now the arena

is hardwood highlighted in bits of coin. Not even the buckets

stay. It’s been a decade since I’ve listened to the Used,

five since Jimmy left Chicago, landed in Miami,

with layovers in Minnesota and Philly. The MVP

of Philadelphia is Joel’s knees, frailer than your ex's cheekbones.


Every November, I vote Jimmy Butler’s cheekbones

the poet laureate of my duvet. There’s still an American Airlines Arena,

it’s just in Dallas. Can you conjugate a Maverick? The last time an MVP

went to a Dallas Maverick, Stoudemire still knew how to walk, buckets

were still born in Jersey, and Dwyane Wade just bought a county in Miami. 

Then, it was Bosh off the glass. Allen for a corner three. I miss the days I used


to count sheep dressed as sheep, floss with boneyards. Days I used

to get sick off rum and Diet while blossoms bloomed in my cheekbones,

flushed with lust, tender as lamb. I fell asleep in a bed in Miami 

and dreamt a sandstorm in the Coliseum, as I stood at the edge of the arena, 

my sword pressed through skin as plastic buckets

filled with what plastic buckets should never be filled. The MVP 


of my third-favorite orgasm was your index finger. The MVP

of the morning after: the hot water from the showerhead, the lip I used

to never chew, the TV turned to ESPN, sound muted, clips of buckets 

traded for other buckets. I vote Jimmy Butler’s cheekbones

a New York Times Bestseller, an arena

of signed hardcovers dressed as a Camel Light, the limp lip of Miami. 


See, Rome wasn’t built in an arena, Boston couldn’t topple Miami,

and Ben Simmons sucking on buckets of water ice will always be the MVP

of the used and cracked, our weathered and diamond-cut cheekbones.


I Want Doris Burke to Narrate My Life

I had a baby because of basketball. Don’t ask. 

Studies show it is easier to hate fuck than to cry. 

Studies show if you step on a Woj Bomb, 

you will end up trapped in Oklahoma, hoping for lightning 

to follow the cracks in your jersey. 

In the beginning God put rockets 

on Vince Carter’s feet and made milk cartons 

because he knew basketball players would end 

up going missing. Which reminds me: Who stole 

Roy Hibbert and why didn’t they do it sooner? 

And is JR Smith still naked from the waist up? 

And does Melo use fabric softener 

while running his hoodie through the wash? 

During the offseason, Alex Caruso sews headbands 

and sells them on Etsy. Anthony Davis’s body 

was born a mockingbird. Only 

Greg Odin knows why. I still have so many questions

but I don’t have the time to list them 

here. I’m too busy burying Dwyane Wade’s talking 

cube in a pocket of earth, 

between Grantland and Linsanity.