The Battle of the Brians, 1988

I knew poetry wouldn’t win
I knew before I knew what poetry was

But I wished it
Fingertips on the screen
I sent out prayers
Like my ancestors who asked the sun for favours
While they burned

I watched a thin man slide on ice
Like a waltz for one

I danced alone
A fat block of a child
I could never move like that

“That’s not a girl, it’s a pig.”
They teased
(The they who always tease)

I cried because they were as right
As they were wrong
As they were young

So I cheered for a man
Who wore soft clothes
With fabric made of sparkles
And glitter and rhinestones

A Pride uniform
Before I knew what Pride was

I knew he wouldn’t win
Over the star spangled
Trick landing
Who skated prose
While our man skated poetry
But second place was silver-bright
And good enough for me

H. E. Casson is comically bad at sports, but has a deep love for all athletics that resemble dance or involve flinging oneself very high in the air. Their words have recently been published by The Avenue, Scifaikuest, and Flash Nonfiction Food. They can be found online at and as @hecasson on Twitter.

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