based on Osaka’s self-titled Netflix documentary, with the italicized quotes taken directly from various interviews
A chartreuse and white sphere sings through air,
W cracked into Vs, racket shot to ground
with a bowed head, hushed victory, deafening apology: only twenty.
Smile, enunciate every word,
answer sans tears, stitch together sanguine honesty:
anything is okay if everything should be okay.
A win is a fluke, wins are practice.
Play until the pressure dissipates,
until the happiness appears.
Riots rage outside,
civil unrest reigns over civilization,
an Asian black girl takes a stand.
A spark sings through veins,
cracked bones mending, endings ending
with a sudden urgency, fervent ferocity, new normalcy: twenty-three.
Not the defeat of doubt,
nor the ceasefire of suffering,
but a few seconds to breathe, a window to dream.
Olympics to have optimized for,
more to make happen.
But now, I don’t care what anyone has to say.
We do this, it’s in my blood.
I wanted to skip press conferences at Roland Garros to exercise self-care and preservation of my mental health.