Just below my spot on the balcony

a few of the boys made a zen garden

out of the the volleyball court,

a spiral raked into the sand, 

and in the center,

a few stones,

just so.


Oliver is trampling on them. 

One hand yanks impatiently on the net

and the other presses a smartphone to his ear

as he sways, clumsily riding the piece down.


The contrast is perfect,

and just as I am cresting

on the poignancy of the moment,

Cross slouches by,

his balding head

and beady eyes fixed below.

He calls in his thick new jersey accent, 

“Ay, Oliver is screwin ahp the zen gahden! What a fahget!”