Shea Handa

need something
to believe in:

the end zone
as a dwelling,

their own

Before games,
I remember the boy

whose collarbone
I shattered,

the crushed husk
of his body

in the grass, and
how sated I felt,

standing over him.

I'm familiar
with the consequences

of remorse—after all,
it's the penitent

who suffer. So,
when I see these boys,

swollen and single-
minded, lurch

in unison like
righteous bullies

across the turf,
I feel nothing

but my own

against their bodies.
What does it mean

that later we will meet
at midfield

and I will smack
every one

of their outstretched,
dilapidated hands?

It means
we will age

inflicting pain.
It means

please forgive me.

Shea Handa holds degrees from UCLA and the University of Virginia. He is a Squaw Valley Community of Writers alumnus. He enjoys staring out the windows of moving vehicles, and he currently lives and teaches in Los Angeles, CA.

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