Regular Poem: Night Biking

18 May

This
moist night, shimmering
an incandescent orange glimmer,
smelling wet and warm
and sweaty and close and
metallic soil

belongs to me
and the muscles in my quadriceps
straining against wine and the week.

A small dog barks its
claim on the night,
and I smile acquiescingly, yet
I will not yield.

This small dog thinks–
if that may be said of dogs–
that it holds some piece of
nocturnal glory, and I
will let
this small dog think thus.

But
in actuality
my night biking
takes precedent
over its high-pitched ululation.

I glide
over a pothole or indention or particularly rough patch,
and my bell softly chimes its
claim on the night.

I can smell my own skin
and the gossamer skin
of the night–
all salt and seawater (somehow)–

I have thought of a thousand ways
to bound this fence
urgingly in one gulp,
and I am fixated on it now.

I mount the garbage can and touch the chain link. I
giggle. (I’ve been giggling and shall continue to giggle.)
I bend over the chain link and bring the other garbage can closer.

(Just over this metal precipice stands
a swimming pool
full and taciturn and calling me
into its yawning embrace
and I wonder why this swimming pool is full,
and yet I don’t care.
I simply long for it
with a single-mindedness that should frighten me.)

And of the thousand ways I’ve
imagined this
in the minute or so it’s taken me to
loop around three times,
this
trashcanoverfenceontoothertrashcan
method seems best
although the area is disturbingly well lit.
It would be too noisy to go full fence around back where it’s sufficiently dark.

I place my wrists over the top, and
I feel lights behind me.
A van across the street has thwarted my skinny-dipping plan, and,
giggling, I scurry back
to my bicycle–like some
possum that somehow owns a bicycle and knows how to giggle.

I go fast
now
away
from the scene of the almost crime
(a property crime–trespassing, public intoxication, public nudity at best!)
and glide away
into this wet night,

and I realize belatedly
the fence had cut me.
I taste my own blood from my wrist
and giggle morbidly about tetanus,

and I could go for hours.
I want to
until sunrise
until I’m
achingly thirsty and
sober.

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2 Responses to “Regular Poem: Night Biking”

  1. silverscreenings 21 May 2013 at 7:56 PM #

    FYI — I had to look up the definition of “ululation”. I always try to work new-to-me words into everyday conversation, but “ululation” is going to be tricky.

    Also, I love the way riding a bike feels at night, and I think you’ve really captured it here.

    • TheBestofAlexandra 25 May 2013 at 1:11 AM #

      Thanks! I might write a sequel someday. Also, I’m glad to have introduced you to a new word!

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