Off the bus, we find the usual heavy air of
the faint notes of mildew from Jordans
left in gym bags,
each doorknob, threshold, bench
streaked with rust.
In our locker room, teammates—lank-legged
black and white boys—
tape ankles, slip on jerseys that should
label us the enemy.
But the bigger battle, a cold
heats the stands naively marked
“Visitor” and “Home.”
On one side, black fans back their all
punctuate dunks, and echo
Across the floor, white parents ignore
flip through magazines, braid
their all white dance squad takes
the halftime stage.
At intermission’s end, waves of camo
and blond hair
pour through exits as our dribbles and
reverberate through a
We visitors can’t explain the tableau
between the baselines, but it feels
When the buzzer sounds, teams shake hands
and we bus back home.
Eupora tidies up, shuts off the lights, and readies
for another game tomorrow.