The Replay Review

Jeff Latosik


It was a new challenge about the place
one thing ended and another began.
In the stands we watched and then
rained tall cans down from the blue
as if forever was just a vendor.

It was about a line in the sand
somebody had up and called blue ribbon.
A supposed given that was more a command
so there was a tribunal and then a long deliberation.
There was a common conclusion once.

Then a bunch of crummy pamphlets.
It was a beaut in one kind of way.
A territorial dispute of whether the fence-post
was foul or fair in a deafening boo.
It was everything peer-reviewed

up in the air set to blaring country
music and each citizen elbow deep
in their data plan and their to-dos.
It was waiting. It was hard.
It was discovering that our camera-flipped

phones when turned to each other
created a kind of infinity mirror
making the whole scene more fun house
than a place you’d ever want to keep score
of anything true. It was a hunch that reality,

never more tricky, kept moving quietly
in and out of view as if on one of those terrible
hot dog carousels. It was being so lost
in the inside baseball and the legalese
we couldn’t tell the storms from the breeze

and couldn’t freeze the bobbleheads
some other team, and then our team,
were becoming. Man, it was really bumming
me out. I was in the nosebleeds
wondering if I might just up and blow away.

I was watching all of us hovering there.
It was all hovering. A kind of slow flash
and it moved like knees do when the jury,
the crew chief, the judge, the worry of doctors
and the sea of committees are taking their sweet time.

It was arguing about that initial challenge
or at what point the call had been made.
No tape on that, though. All the times
I gave up on the last one I came back less afraid.