Sporting Life

People always talking about if
& suppose like those words are worth
more than money, more than the crease
a silk stocking makes on a woman's

thigh. More than the grumble of a Thomas
Flyer engine. So I take the side of my
pleasures. Two small words, if & suppose,
& nobody can explain them. We get

in this world what we're going to get.
After all, one man can roll out of bed
& be killed, while another man falls
from a scaffold & lives. A man can get

a bullet in the brain & keep his life
while some other poor sap dies
from a shot in the leg. It's all luck
& perspective: pleasure is both to me.

©Originally appeared in The American Poetry Review