Two NFL Poems

Karissa Morton & Justin Carter
 About the Writers

Karissa Morton & Justin Carter live in northern Ohio with a hamster named Bridgette. They teach at BGSU where Karissa recently earned her MFA & Justin is completing his. Together, they run Poets on Sports, &, separately, are the editors of Revolution House & Banango Street (respectively). Some of Karissa’s recent work appears in The Indiana Review, Guernica, & The Paris-American; Justin’s appears in The Collagist, Hobart, & Ninth Letter. You can find them at & 

#12 Josh Gordon, WR


The lack of an atmosphere, a planet

viewed against the blackness of space.

I didn’t choose to sleep at Taco Bell

or to nickname my mind a spiral of grape.

But I have no more walls to remind me

I exist. I am a rice paper balloon, a riddle

saddling up to every second fire. Tonight

I am doing this—the short, full lengths

of my mouth planning a trip to the sidelines,

& I see the love triangle happening between

three others, the roots working backward

toward early picks. Once we tied for the lead.

Once my mother rubbed words away with soap.



#4 Randy Bullock, K


Time to float in the world,

all five of your field goals—


missed connections between sky & mourning.

It's sixteen miles to try & be patient


but look— the beginning of December

brings Jacksonville, all full of moondust,


& failure is only an orchestra of vocabulary.

Nobody loses all the skyline & so we realize


our kings bounce off uprights, each falling

helplessly into a pool of muddied light.