You are wearing that white jacket again.
In the wind, it clouds behind you
like a parachute, pulsing,
or your motorcycle is on fire
beneath our legs,
the back tire I know, bald,
One piece of gravel
and we’ll both go sliding, rashing
our cheeks, arms, legs along the road
of toil and claw, the road
where your eyes remain.
When I ride with you,
my fingers tug your belt loops.
I imagine falling: this turn, too fast,
the tire catches a stick, or your hand
jerks to slap a grasshopper, we tumble
into a ditch, thistles, snapping small bones.
A car door opens next to us
or a semi hits us from the side
and we fly and fly, slow motion.
Daydreams hold me to you
tighter, and I don’t lean
against the silver back rest,
risking its fracture.
When we do stop
it’s like waiting,
and I am used
to waiting. The sound
of a rock clinking
against chrome a hollow echo,
and I am not used
to sudden cool air
beneath shadows – we ride
through ghosts – the sun and wind
blend around a body the growl
of daylight, cold, dry eyes. I am not used
to the kind of movement you notice
against your body. Everything vibrates,
the blacktop beneath us
an old vinyl record,
and we are the needle,
all steel and shine and rumble.
About Mary: Mary Stone Dockery’s poetry and prose has appeared or is forthcoming in Gargoyle, Weave Magazine, > kill author, Midwestern Gothic, The Medulla Review, Lily, and many other fine journals. Her chapbook Aching Buttons (dancing girl press) will be published in January, 2012. She is the recipient of the 2011 Langston Hughes Award in poetry, and her chapbook Becoming an Island was a finalist in the Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize. She is the co-founding editor of Stone Highway Review, and co-edits Blue Island Review, in addition to reading for Gemini Magazine and writing mini reviews for Portal del Sol. Currently, she lives and writes in Lawrence, KS.