Agendas

By SAYWARD SCHOONMAKER

wind over ears   we sped along on steel-framed bikes
tracing the profile of the coast
cold north water pulled down warming spring air
and met at the narrow list of pavement we rode on
built up from sea level raised to a peak like a striped mound in a plowed field
I looked down at the tops of my bare thighs
arms, chest, and stomach too
peppered in a thousand pin prick flies
pedaling rapid on a tightrope inlet
I want them off I want them off
gulped in a sun-edged sea         (muscle heart squirm!)
argued my muscles still
or I am off my bike
why choose me to land on?
act casual, the environmentalist is a judgemental person
ahead I watch her buttocks on the saddle of her bike
You can’t feel them calm down stop looking you’ll brush them off when we stop

we’re slowing for a view    I’m squeezing the brake levers
to lift off the saddle, left foot ground, hands at the ready
but the flies are gone.
all thousand of them
wiped clean
                                     I was stuck to them

I ran in        to them

they had spring business, hatched and coded
waited out my path with physics (learned from them)
for the proper speed of unlatching

 

three turns of pedals and I have disturbed a thousand more agendas
we’re riding on whole masses of disturbances       “the Dutch built the Netherlands”
if she’s bugged too, she doesn’t say so          it’s her field trip anyway

Agendas

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