by Kayo Chingonyi

We’d chase a beat-up sphere of synthetic leather
across the parched dancefloor that claimed our days.

Rising from the clutter of a sliding tackle,
like we’d never fallen in our lives,

we’d sprint into space so we could dance again.
We knew when to bend our knees, pivot,

hold our puffed chests poised, but best of all
was how we’d synchronize our steps

offset the strongest defensive tableau
with a swerve, all the while tracing the arc

of a cross lofted in from the wing.
We’d wait for the right time to swing

our supple hips, catch the orb mid-flight
so that the keeper would crumple to the ground

empty-handed and the beat-up sphere would slide
from the dancefloor to the bushes that served as goal nets.