Issue > Poetry
Kevin King

Kevin King

Kevin King is the author of the novel All the Stars Came Out That Night (Dutton, 2005). This past year he has had a fellowship in poetry from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts.

Gnats


How big is the brain of a gnat?
And yet how I would love
to inject it, not Einstein's,
into a baseball that only I
could throw.  How I would
baffle big league batters
while not reaching even 70
on the radar gun.
And while my ball goes dead
and gets walloped in mid-September,
O, glory, that one day in October,
Cleveland Indian Summer
when the mercury hits 65
and it's alive again.
Just before the sun fades
in New Hampshire this evening
I'm sitting here feeling like something
between St. Francis and Peeping Tom
watching six, no—nine, gnats
jump, twist, and shout
like sub-atomic particles,        
and for a fleeting moment
they describe Ursa Major,
then Orion with a bat in place of a belt,
then what must be the Ortiz-shift
on a baseball diamond,
and I'm wondering if,
given an infinity of gnats and typewriters,
they would alight on the keys
that spell out my life
as I watch it whiz by
that last time some cold
October night when the field lights
come on and
nothing rises from the leaves of grass.

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