Two Basketball Poems Leigh 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.