New Bike

Two legs can only carry you so fast. As a kid, I learned to ride a bike up in the mountains. When I get on my bike now there is no smell of pine or warm & dry summer making the air more brittle than bone. When my sister used to hold my hands over my handlebars the act was nothing political, just a normal step in teaching a child how to ride a bike.

In Boston, when I unclip my bike from the parking meter I count the change I saved from not driving a car. $1.25 an hour x 8 hours = $10.00. Daily. If my sister only knew how much she saved me today, not in change, but in heart. Some days I know growing up we tried to break each other. Most days I still see people out to break each other.

I haven’t talked to her over the phone in weeks. I know every day the silence of her phone is another missed opportunity to say hello, I love you, I’m doin’ o.k. In California, people drive their cars everywhere, unless you live in Davis, then you probably ride your bike like a revolution. Legs pumping every ounce of energy stored up in the valley. The truckers shake their heads as they pass you – a mortal – not willing to marry machine & engine for fear of losing what you have always known best, yourself.

It’s some hot summer day in the city. It’s so humid I’m convinced everything in the universe is made from water. My skin: water. My thoughts: water. The road: water. Me legs crank around on my bike like a coin flipping without ever landing. I see the cars, piled up metal stones, on the Mass Pike. They are spitting & groaning the language of people who try to make themselves more than mortals.

When I get home, I slide off my bike like she taught me on the hill. I may not call my sister most days, but I carry her with me in my skin. As siblings, I’m convinced we don’t understand how much they are in our bones until we are separated.

I’m also thinking about getting a new quilt these days…thoughts?