World Cup

The World Cup is close
and someone asked me to
write a poem about soccer.
This is as close to the game
as I’ve ever come:
A girl kissed me in the center circle
of the campus soccer field,
thirteen minutes after midnight,
under a rainy summer sky
in my sophomore year,
and for the minutes
and seconds of that kiss
the world became a rush and a roar
as if there were
ten thousand flashbulbs
alive in my veins
and my heart couldn’t beat any faster
even if she’d asked it to.
And then,
and then….
she walked away
to let someone else hold her
and I learned what every
player on the field learns:
the World Cup is yours
and then it is not.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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