he could shoot a foul shot in a way that looked textbook
correct, advanced
even if everything else about him was wavy and wrong

when talking about his teenage daughter
he said she has great tits
but if you dragged him to the gym
he could rattle off that shot

in the little personal olympics of a person forced to perform
like you make your new friend play her guitar

I mean that correct form is redemptive
that it dissolves the area in awe
adds a quick eccentricity to the moment

all the objects in the closet, and the garage, and the basement, and attic
to master them is sexy
in that talent and action can be sexy
but there is dust
a nerdy history of practice
a vessel of spent time

when there is a guitar teacher and a guitar student
the guitars are good-natured blocks
a nice shellac over the past
the guitar teacher had a mass of moldy talent
and the student is going to forget

but the fingers follow a chord
and in straining to conform
they create a fat humanity
of a woobly hand-drawn quality

the effort of amateurs holding a form
a temporary position that mirrors success
a body folded to the degree
to produce a clear note
a flutter in the air
like the day agrees with you
a sort of dollar prize

Rachel B. Glaser is the author of the story collection Pee On Water. Her book of poems, Moods, is forthcoming from Factory Hollow Press. She teaches writing at Flying Object (in Hadley, MA) and paints commissioned paintings of basketball players. She can be reached at rachelbglaser at gmail dot com.