Green Hills Literary Lantern



1980 Future Stars



Buffalo. My new home. I unpack a box.

The dog comes running

with a creased baseball card

in his mouth: 1980 Future Stars,

New York Mets. I remove it

from his jowls and read

the back. Dan Norman.

Outfielder. We share a birthday:

January 11th. We share a borough:

Queens. His life in the show began

in Flushing, in Big Shea. My life began

in Astoria General Hospital.

Both structures have been replaced.

Dan throws and bats right, just as I used to

when I played games of pickup stickball;

my childhood streets awash in the oily aroma

of fried eggplant, wafting

from open windows. Teenaged boys talk smack.

Comebacks. Mine undermined

by garlicky breath. Popped zits. But today, I regard

my new neighborhood. Gusts of wind rattle

rusted dumpsters in my building’s parking lot.

People scream as a roller coaster train drops

in the distance. My phone rings.

I put the card in my pocket. Behind shoreline clouds,

the sun, a sand dollar, depreciates.







Joey Nicoletti is the author of three poetry chapbooks and two full-length poetry collections, including Reverse Graffiti, which was published by Bordighera Press earlier this year. He lives in Western New York, where he tutors and teaches Creative Writing at SUNY Buffalo State, roots for the Seattle Seahawks, and runs around with his dogs.