a place called bleachers

he squints at the field he squints at his dad he scratches his nose
rubbing the toe of his sneaker at a dried-up wad of gum he wonders
is now the best time to ask for ice cream
or should he wait
until after the next batter
will his dad be more likely to say yes and thrust some dollars at him so that he can concentrate
or will he say yes when the team is headed back into the outfield and he’s feeling safe a few runs ahead
in a few minutes
the noise in the ballpark sounds happy to him
and he imagines it as a big purple swirl wooshing up to the sky and overflowing the fences and the walls surrounding the place
he thinks of it splashing all over the cars the people the apartment buildings the bars nearby
he smiles at the vision of all those people purple-y wet with the crowd’s happiness
he scoots over a little bit to give his dad more room with his sloshy beer
and the hot metal burns his legs where his shorts end
he lifts his butt and puts his head down
trying to look underneath the seats
his mouth twitches as he scans for lost foul balls
he pops back up when his dad says, “son?”
nodding a yes at the question, “’bout time to go get a pretzel and some ice cream?”
he thinks about how this is his favorite day so far this summer.

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