Trees stand ready for snow & ice slanting over far hills. An eagle coin flipped at the blue hour spins double- headed. Fall’s imperial purples bloody the rival battle gear for the pigskin. After big steaks & imaginary girlfriends, proxy platoons hunker under helmets like loggerheads in wishbone & pistol formations, ready for lightning to strike or randy billy goats to butt heads. Honor & dishonor touch lightly as the fans
cheer. The return of every nagging in the head sits at the base of the spine wound tight as a mainspring of bone & gut, the hum of silent centuries till the ball is snapped. The peacocks spread their tail-feathers on the sidelines of the sweaty gridiron, hurrahing each touchdown & field goal in the percussive air, running in place every second left on a brutal clock.
86 The Paris-American
Yusef Komunyakaa's most recent book is entitled The Chameleon Couch (Farrar Strauss and Giroux, 2011), which was shortlisted for the 2012 International Griffin Poetry Prize. He is also a recipient of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and Pulitzer Prize for his collection Neon Vernacular (Wesleyan University Press, 1994). Currently, he teaches at New York University and is a famous member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers.