Love / Poetry / Poets

You on Your Motorcycle by William Doreski

Long walk along the back roads,
over simpering little hills,
past sheep farms with grinning dogs.
I’ll never get home. My legs thaw
and rumple. My whole body
throbs as layers of flesh peel
to expose the straining muscles.

And you on your motorcycle
puttering along, teasing me
by circling and following,
riding ahead and returning
in a huff of exhaust. You look
so tidy in your leather skirt,
your hairdo under the helmet
brisk as a spike of broccoli.

You know I’m afraid to ride
on the back of a motorcycle,
even with you to cling to,
even with your expert driving.
You know I’ll probably collapse
and lie decaying on the roadside
until snow buries my carcass.

You could show a little sympathy,
but as you razz by you grimace
like a chimpanzee, then laugh
so vividly the landscape goes
Technicolor for a moment.
At last you tire of tormenting me
and roar off in brute exhaust.

I have to delve inside me and rip
my heart from its mooring
and fling it into the bushes.
Maybe I can rustle strength enough
to walk the last twenty miles.
But even if I survive
I’ll never again hear the rumble
of a Harley without smarting
from the whiplash of your smile.

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