Duy Doan is the author of We Play a Game, winner of the 2017 Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize (Yale University Press 2018). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry, Poetry Northwest, Slate, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. A Kundiman fellow, Doan received an MFA in poetry from Boston University, where he serves as director of the Favorite Poem Project.
remember when Tuan
scored that goal against the neighbors
and then pumped his fist and
slid across the lawn,
how the grass stained
feline on the prowl. Nip's 5 a.m. shuffle.
rooster at sunrise, ears
cocked back, springing forward. and now
that two-pronged tear just inches
above the hem of your pant leg.
when coming home with mom and dad
from Sunday lunch at grandpa's – okra in spit soup
with rice – little brother napped, his cheek
pressed against my shoulder, drool
thickening the knit, darkening the faded green
of my right sleeve.
Four deer practiced leaping over your fences.
– Elizabeth Bishop
1. Find the radius
of Xavi's positive
2. Puyol on the corner:
Describe the body’s shape. Is it favorable
3. First the irretrievable, then
Iniesta’s stroke to release Messi
gleaming into the English Channel:
Was it pragmatism or panache.
Is it something you can kill.
4. Xavi, Messi and Iniesta and two defenders, all in a canoe.
Iniesta alone in the canoe.
Narrate the passes.