On the bleachers
they remind you your ass
is getting old

Four kids play baseball
pairs of brothers
young vs. old

The field forgotten
grass on bare
feet crisp, giving perfect resistance

obvious hand-me-downs
lost in their clothes
those of the older past prime

The white sky
the bleachers heat your ass through jeans
staring down the line
as heat rises and wrinkles

Bat clacks
you eat Carl’s Jr.
realizing you’re 20 years younger
one sibling is you, age 8

Hand trembles
20 years ago
you want to reside in this afternoon

The young you
chasing the foul
sparkling eyes in yours
“I could have had it.”

And you’ve certainly let one another down.

Tyler Dempsey is the author of “Newspaper Drumsticks” (Book Merah/2020.) His stories, essays, and poetry, have been published in many journals online and in print, including Heavy Feather Review, Bending Genres, Trampset, and Gone Lawn. He is a contributing editor at X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine and tweets @tylercdempsey

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