a place called bleachers

he squints at the field he squints at his dad he scratches his nose

rubbing the toe of his sneaker at a dried-up wad of gum he wonders

is now the best time to ask for ice cream

or should he wait

until after the next batter

will his dad be more likely to say yes and thrust some dollars at him so that he can concentrate

now

or will he say yes when the team is headed back into the outfield and he’s feeling safe a few runs ahead

in a few minutes

the noise in the ballpark sounds happy to him

and he imagines it as a big purple swirl wooshing up to the sky and overflowing the fences and the walls surrounding the place

he thinks of it splashing all over the cars the people the apartment buildings the bars nearby

he smiles at the vision of all those people purple-y wet with the crowd’s happiness

he scoots over a little bit to give his dad more room with his sloshy beer

and the hot metal burns his legs where his shorts end

he lifts his butt and puts his head down

trying to look underneath the seats

his mouth twitches as he scans for lost foul balls

he pops back up when his dad says, “son?”

nodding a yes at the question, “’bout time to go get a pretzel and some ice cream?”

he thinks about how this is his favorite day so far this summer.