One whiff of an open pack of baseball cards and I was hooked,
never to return to punks, pixie sticks and sen-sen. Mantle, Mays, God
they were good. A bubble was broken, the idea something was worth
saving had arrived, a sure sign the end had begun. I swallowed
my last wad of bazooka when I entered high school, tobacco burning
off the lingering scent of powder. I opened a bar in my mind, something
about the head of a beer first thing in the morning making everything
seem possible, repeating itself into promises only the night believes.
Fragrance has fathered more of my failures than I can count, other senses
somewhere in the stands. The complexity of sight and limits to touch were
no match. I learned to hear what I wanted to hear, if I could smell it
I could taste it. Now, almost sixty, what’s in the air comes and goes,
the breath of visitors to some famous landmark I erected myself—Home
of someone you never heard of and who never heard of you.
latest work appears in NewPlains Review & Border Crossing. New work will be
included in Melusine and The Penwood Review. Bishop is the author of four
chapbooks, most recently "Old Machinery" from Aldrich Publishing. He attended
Rutgers University and now lives and writes in Kissimmee, Florida.