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For Billy Beane, As Game Three Begins

“Sonny gets sunnier day by day by day…” –Paul Simon

Billy Beane’s not a player,
he just walks a lot—
well, mostly it’s pacing through the muck
through the bleach smell
the rare scintilla from the dugout.
In the corridors, here, they store stuff
Billy don’t know what.
Billy don’t know how
but it’s essential.

Other places you go, some of the places
Billy played
it’s like this stuff doesn’t exist—
the cleaners and the men who wield them
wield mops, strings, cords.
Stuff you could kill yourself with.
That’s all hidden other places.
Here, it’s been flushed out
by nature:
rain and shit backing up the bay
spreading out the brown.

Then you’re down one-nothing.

But then there’s something Sonny
does—doesn’t hump the yacker up there
(the yellow hammer that bests Verlander)
a Vogt of lightning at the end of the night game—

the slight rhymes come to Billy now.
They’re essential, too, he knows.
Like the cleaners, the natural rhymes of quiet thought
are reminders how it all fits:
shifts, platoon splits, shits, bleach

Eventually, it’ll all be clean.