Poem – Tayi Tibble

Watching the Boys Play Rugby

like flies swarming
in black tidal pools or

a milky way of sluts in short
shorts and long socks, Catholic

schoolboys teasing each other
in the scrum. Bull-headed matadors

depending on the score. The music
of bones in their noses all smashed

and spitty like pop rock candy.
Make a pit-stop at the dairy,

buy a scoop of chips to throw
at the seagulls who can’t be scared off,

red-eyed demons watching
the boys play rugby. Eat too much or

not enough. Throats dry but mouths
open and over-glossed

when the game is over, and the boys
come orbiting the car

with pale moon faces, either
luminous or crumbling.


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