rats were the first to smell it
                       smell came before sound
                       smell sank          into
twenty five thousand          rat  hearts
        it                    was the    smell of losing
        it   traveled faster       than           horrible
twenty thousand more  rats joined         the crowd
fitting into every         possible stadium   crack
           there were sixty thousand           fans
           there were fifty five thousand      rats
           the Yankees were losing
           the last game before the world series
           it  was         do        or     die
rats are enthusiastic baseball fans
they love  tar smell, wood fragrance, incredible leftovers
                           ballpark    cuisine
the last strike cut through the noise
                                 like a mammoth guillotine
         silence was instantaneous
an enormous, five foot two, multi-colored butterfy
             flew into the stadium and landed on second base
                           stared 
                  into the stands                    
                into the    rat faces
                into the people faces 
into the face of new york grief; into the face of american grief
the gigantic butterfly smiled into the joyful       green of     grass
as the organist began soft,            romantic chords
                      modulated into sighing Puccini phrases
the butterfly glowed at the sound of music
                            softly sang   "un bel di vedremo"
                                     "one fine day we'll see"
reaching beyond  realms of despair, searching for joy
utter hopelessness transferred to all the fan faces
                               to the open,sorrowing hearts 
the final batter began to weep and knelt at home plate
the       catcher         dissolved into sobbing
   umpires        left                           the field
                       the game ending
                       was frozen into soft sound
          millions of tears blew over the center field wall
spread into the sighing city
  reverberated from sympathetic shining stars
love is redeemed                 love      is               lost
                 baseball                  is 
                                              overshadowed
                                                             by grief

[for the Yankees,Pasquale and Puccini]

                
                


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