spreads his plump rump on the bleachers,
his blooming beard caressed by diamond breezes.
The umpire raises one hand in benediction.
The batter swings and swings again at nothing,
then cocks a grin as wide as a blind assumption.
The ball soars, high, higher,
seeking the looming towers of Manhattan,
angels or demons,
catchers and pitchers of the winds.
In Walt’s eye, the ball, a polished moon,
folds into a dove recalling home.
Cheers wound the sky in its envy.
The grass burns the blades of its desire.
Walt Whitman absorbs it all
in the visionary marrow of his bones,
scents the fisted rosin, the silky dust,
touches the joy of the pulsing sun,
weaves the crowd with his eyes
into a pattern of his own design.
Later, he dances home, arm-in-
arm with two drunken firemen,
following a trail of apples
that have abandoned their fall.
Above, a million blind windows devour the sun,
and in wonder’s perfect silence, Walt Whitman drinks
and drinks the city night, sprinkled with blood and wine
immaculate, breathless in the ministry of the stars.