A group of Chicago fans can yell and heckle because they
are not alone, but we geography orphans wear our livery

silently: bumblebee Pittsburgh, Betsey Ross Buffalo, and me
in shit & orange. We each have a table for one

with one beer, one water, no food. We have taken
our talents from the Rust Belt for reasons unknown

to each other and our penance is silent celebration—
the small fist clench, the whispered yes. We dare not

bandwagon Kansas City for to do so would be
to forsake our inheritance, to betray our lineage.

The worst is the hushed humiliation: withering on
these stools as our teams putter out in the red zone,

we are background, extras in a movie about a different team.
I have to ask the waitresses to change the one corner TV

back to my game so I can wince again. This is what
I miss the most: in Cleveland, misery is never solitary.


Photo by Erik Dorst