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  • Practice, and: Boy on Boy
  • Max Somers (bio)


In the lot by my house, the Peewee football squad is practicing. They’re learning how to throw, lower their heads, and batter each other’s bodies. All, at season’s end, they’ll know by muscle memory. The whistle. Two boys bury their shoulders in one another, embrace, move with and against until they’re both on the ground. The loser walks to the coach, who kneels, says something, pats the kid’s small armor. In the widening quiet, all the boys—as if they have to answer a question but don’t yet know how—are still, silent, leaning into the world.

Boy on Boy

My mother keeps walking in, turning, shutting the door,

thinking she’d made the mistake— that we were changing, just changing.

Or my father does, but it’s hard to see anything beyond silence

that takes its time between us— his life or mine. His life and mine.

We weren’t bored that summer, or in danger, or especially [End Page 73]

in love with anything. We had bikes, creeks, lawns to mow.

We just wanted to be there, I guess, and no one walked in on it. Is that

the right answer? What was the question?

Max Somers

Max Somers was born and raised in Indiana. He holds an mfa in poetry from the University of Illinois. He has been a teacher, copywriter, and short-order cook. He also races motorcycles at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. Recently, he was a runner-up for the 2012 “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize and winner of the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Prize. His work appears or is forthcoming in Fugue, Ninth Letter, [PANK], and The Greensboro Review.



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pp. 73-74
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