You and I, we have our course and miles set:
a journey plotted amidst winds and trail closures,
a day after torrential rains and their
resulting torrential (all over the path) floods
yet no journey is complete without a moment
of hesitation, of paths lost, of alternate routes
we travel the way I remember (years ago,
a different bike carried me to work this way)
but the path is twisted, filled with tree roots
and curves that you’ve told me you dislike.
at our usual high-speed pace (we made a pact
to beat our record), the sidewalk jumps up and grabs
us. like disconsolate lovers, we tumble to the ground,
rolling over each other’s metal, skin, plastic, blood.
i lie for perhaps five minutes, adjusting my headphones
so not to miss my story, thinking perhaps my leg is broken
there could be phone calls to make and i’ll need a new
helmet, but when i stand, i grin at my bruised-up,
perfectly movable leg, and gasp at you tangled beside
me, my partner in this determined destiny we’ve set.
when i lift you and turn the wheel, you too have suffered
scrapes in our lovers’ quarrel. i adjust your chain, wiping
my greasy fingers on our towel, swipe the broken pieces of
the cateye to the ground, and we are off once again.
“that was only mile three,” I whisper, and your unscathed
silver frame, your perfectly intact black tires, lead me
into the wind, the pain of our bruises washed away with
spring’s air, water from the overflowing creek, and love.