J-T Kelly


It’s hard to get it in the thick of it.
The batter blinks as the pitcher sticks it.

Your slow head turns — too late! — to see the lips
parted and wet where the tongue had just slipped.

Miss a moment, miss another. Press stop,
rewind what just went by — you can’t catch up.

And now your flame is cooled — you’re ash, you’re soot.
The strike’s been called. Your sexy dream’s kaput.

What’s next — regret? Nights spent in sleepless sweat?
Insistence that we ain’t seen nothin’ yet?

Try too hard to make each moment matter —
Doesn’t it all end up in disaster?

Is it better to wildly jerk around,
Or practice stillness here — above the ground?

I choose to dance — to chase with two left feet
That pitch, that kiss, that flame, that heart, that beat.


J-T Kelly is an innkeeper in Indianapolis, Indiana. He lives in a brick house with his wife and five children, his two parents, and a dog.