Before, there was a longing—pock—
conjured by lack or hope,
and the ball sailed out to the day’s landscape,
came back as sharpened senses, bluer views.
But here in Stuyvesant Town
the tennis courts are real,
real too (my memoir: from crossed stars
to crossed fingers?) this sturdy hand I grip.
And I, for far too long
for comfort having found warped comfort
in the sports coach-cinematographer
ruling my brain, I roam with you
like an alien in a new world,
con the part clumsily;
if I must succumb to metaphor
let me see the net and asphalt
as an enduring endeavor
of sweat, botched serves and ever-better volleys,
and always the ball going back and forth in sunlight.
At forty I am learning to play tennis.
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