On a Motorcycle Too Heavy for Trails
by Al Ortolani

I negotiate the washouts, the crumbling

shoulders—the city noise a distant airplane. Early
leaf change splatters the tops of the trees—notebook
yellow, bag brown, muffler rust. The breeze is

cool, the sun warm. My phone vibrates, reminding
me of a recent commitment in Westport, cancelled
for lack of a better word. I’d rather sit along

the Union Pacific and listen to the woodpeckers,
the insistent cricket, the crows. The yellow susans,
the white yarrow, scattered across the rocks, bloom

even in October. They snag the thin soil with
tenacious roots. They wait the occasional rain, follow
the sun, unpruned, cultivated by wind. Hawks

ride the thermal currents off the bluff. Crows
like iron finials—perch in the bone-white sycamore.
There is time enough for everything—

late bees traffic in sun.

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