Fly Ball

/ /

So that if it risks pleasure, if

in rising and falling succeeds

to a stillness no intent could skill—

each moment a distance and each distance

habited by accident because inhabited

by struck force— whatever pleasure it pledges

must inevitably slacken to pleasure

manifest: faint then gone then

reappearing, a sphere of stitched whiteness

quickened by adhering light,

it curves away from the imaginary line

it can never touch and toward the slipping

shadow-line of a body running

across a grassy field and holding forth

its leather mitt, slick as pitch and open

with indulgence, the five-fingered contour

framing the limit toward which all pleasure aims

so that when not if

it falls what the gloved hand holds

is not failure but the smell of grass.