Anastasia Graf

Line of Flight

Pindar’s athletes bathed in fragrant glory,
luminous and binding,
mixing sweat with more divine excrescence.

The dictatorship of sports: the space of freedom
traversed by sinewed legs in golden Reeboks,
Broadway epic as the Via Appia,
Central Park lindens shedding laurel wreaths.
The runners take the line of flight, the beeline out,
past ideologies and praise, into a space of pure
pulse and sinew, shock and breath.

One runner wheels along the Moscow River
under shedding poplars, scattering sparrows,
dust bathing on the quay.
He is a vector and a vertigo
(dust, distance, death),
a line of flight beyond the race.

Anastasia Graf has published poetry, short stories and essays in Vestal Review, Comparative Literature, Masturbatory, and other online zines. She teaches literature in NYC and Long Island.