Skip to main content

by Estée Arts

You said only a few things
as you made a makeshift bandage for the crack
“Can you hold this?” you asked as you wrapped
packing tape around paper towels
around the bottom of my foot.

Earlier, at your sister’s apartment
where we had gone for banana splits
and to watch the Red Sox win the World Series
who were you,
suddenly a fan of Koji Uehara
throwing strikes, one at a time.

I was still full from dinner
I explained, when your sister asked if I wanted ice cream.
“She does.
She’s just afraid of eating in front of people.”
You said.
Only taking your eyes off the TV for a second.
Two strikes and the batter patted his chest
where his heart must have been
beating a hundred miles an hour.

Your sister pushed a chair to me, but
I didn’t want to stay: a few foul balls.
The crowd jumping at the chance to touch the second
to last pitch.

“She’s too cool to sit down.”
You told her.
I shifted feet and felt the blood fill my cracked heel.
The heater in our apartment had been drying out my skin,
which was already gasping for moisture
in this dry, Utah air.

When you had said you were coming to bed soon,
I scraped off the skin
with my fingernails as
I waited.
Soon, all the white flakes on the bedside carpet.
Callous heels worn to tender, pink flesh.

The game was over: a strike out.
They were now interviewing players.
“We’re world champs,” they said.
The last batter had silently walked off the field.