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Michael Phelps for ESPN Magazine, The Body Issue

An Ode to Michael Phelps, Oct. 10, 2008
Michael Phelps                 
What an odd creature you are
at six-foot-four with your bat ears
and crazy mer-feet. You can
    do one thing spine-
tingling well, then revert
to your child smile and earphones;
you had to be protected by Debby
and Coach Bob himself, then
    released into the pool like
a trout. How you ripped

through it, sparkling
with crystals of speed,
sleek and whipping without a splash,
to end-flip and then the point
where the swim stops
and the roar begins.
For you. Michael. Just for you.
    But you must not let it

go to that dance of light where
the noise in your ‘phones
meets the silence of your form.
Alone you are perfect.
Remember. Stay tall,
       and long, long in the

August 10, 2008
Bronx, NY

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