A night match at Arthur Ashe: September
and it’s summer a little while longer
so long as these breezes drift in,
so long as Alcaraz
at nineteen fucking unreal
in Gerald Marzorati’s phrase
returns most anything the veteran
Čilić sends his way
and three hours fifty-three minutes go by—
relentless shot-making, vicious, precise.
My father says watching tennis
for hours is a waste: Isn’t it boring?
The noise of time does not sadden me
runs the book I flip through during breaks
till my eyes grow too tired—no one I know
will pay Ticketmaster’s ransom to join me.
And then the 2:30 AM walk back
across the quaint bridge to the 7 train,
heading home among strangers
who’ve seen it through, something joining us briefly—
as when the voice of someone shushing someone
carries through the hush of the stadium
as when long rallies give rise to the stasis
I go in for—Ashe, a night match, end of summer.