I very much enjoyed sharing my poetry with you all last week, so I reckon I’ll do so again.
This is another piece I have been working on for some time. When asked by my professor to recall specific images for an assignment, I found myself returning to a childhood bicycle accident I experienced in my old cul-de-sac.
I had been riding around our small circle of houses with a neighbor and at one point I wasn’t paying attention and we collided. My leg actually got caught in between the spokes and wheels and I crashed to the ground. Hard. I specifically remember taking a moment to watch the blue sky and notice the searing pain in my injured leg. Recalling that moment and the pain I experienced after the crash, connected to the grief I felt when my cousin passed. I sat with those emotions for some time.
So I began to write and this is what came of it. I hope you enjoy.
Glittering spokes hold the wheel in place, boats made from clouds, suspended just beyond reach. The scent of grass with a new haircut leads sky sailors to memory, soft edges. Saw-toothed ridge of stones, teeth sinking between your shoulder blades. A nickel warmth trickling, flickering in and out like flame; leg lame.
When the bicycle came crashing in, like a titanic wave, you met it then: This calm before absence, like watching his smile disappear behind a headstone, smooth as bone, cheeks wet from rain mixed with tears. Then, a thumping, the steady pulse of your brakes seizing,
while knuckles bleach, fingernails retreat into palms, indents, a short film that never leaves you. Your breathing becomes a negotiation between grief and peace, but you couldn’t know it then…it wasn’t intimate yet, more like an old friend whose distance leaves you to fold in upon the fabric, still smooth between fingers.
Perhaps your only comfort when death stays.
Let the record repeat, resign lidded eyes. Picture the needle waltzing in time within worn grooves, hands steady on hips. This is how you remember said grief; like a Top 40, but comprised predominantly of halted harmonies. A precise baton
tracing the rolling greens of melody with your index, patient to place the pulse. Once you catch up to it, a radiant monarch, soft against your cheek, that is when you hear her: “Love, won’t you come back to bed?” as she has always said, with hair the gentle shimmer of a fireplace, grace when she pirouettes around your smile.
Maybe then this absence will abate. The tight vice of frost in your chest clears, because she is what stays and you too are warmer now, embers peaceful, eyes deeper than waves. Fists learn to bear branches of growth and lungs, like hot air balloons sweeping the flushed sky, open to sweet drops of honey.
Chords ring with laughter, wooden beams reaching to greet the moon and its pearlescent expanse. Memory is a beach at night, waves ever breaking and tides softly return for another dance.