March 5, 2013 by The Citron Review
by Eric Vithalani
This is where the coal train passed; 50 feet behind left field, but the rumble shook us all the way to the dugout. And this is where we’d put the pennies on the track. And this is where we’d wait for the C&O. The concession stand, still painted red, and those are the stenciled white letters that spell out our brothers’ championships. This is where we played cup-ball and swung at the fireflies and hit homeruns. Those are the stainless steal bleachers where they cheered and caught foul balls and spilled popcorn and yelled at the officials. Those are the silver bleachers where you sat. That is the creek on the other side of the tracks that still runs dirty and the crawdads and the frogs and the singing and the weeds and the lines in the water the rocks draw. This is a water-worn smooth rock good for skipping. This is the blade of grass we held between our thumbs, put to our mouths and wrote songs with. This is where secrets were passed on folded notebook paper. This is where I waited. And that is when you kissed me: Joey Workman’s end of season party. My head in your lap and a silver nautical star hung on white string from the ceiling. And this is where I will leave you—the kid with the high walls by the edge of Nimmo Woods at twilight; where autumn winds break the solitude; where the moon made us strong, painfully beautiful, all-knowing.
Eric Vithalani teaches English at Coastal Carolina Community College and holds a MFA from the University of North Carolina – Wilmington. He currently lives in Surf City, NC. His work can be seen in Lilies and Cannonballs Review, Kakalak: An Anthology of Carolina Poets, Blood Orange Review, inscape, Emerge Literary Journal, Sliver of Stone, and Phantom Drift Limited among others. In addition, he rode a bicycle from North Carolina to Kentucky.