Poetry

The Story of My Bicycle Ride Through Schenly Park

By Jeremiah Blatz

I came to the party just because I knew she would be there.
I could almost feel her presence before I caught sight of her.
Skin like moonlight on freshly fallen snow,
An explosion of midnight hair matching the swirling eyeliner
below.

Gravity did not push, it pulled.
Small tufts of grass sent shockwaves through my arms and legs.
I could feel every undulation of the grassy hill.
My heart thrilled as I approached the dark coolness of the woods.

She must have felt my longing gaze, because she suddenly turned
and looked me straight in the eye.
I smiled, and so did she.
We met in a corner of the smoky room and began to chat.

"Ride it down," a passer-by once said to a friend of mine, as
I walked my bike down the narrow shortcut through the woods.
"Ride it down," she suggested to my friend, with her knobby wheels,
mountain-bike frame, and caliper brakes.
My friend walked her bike down the ravine.
Today, toe-clips locked in, I slid down that same hillside, half
deciding where to go, half letting the hill decide for me.
I could hear the packed dirt loosen as I slid sideways.

"Look, I wanna head home" Death said to me. "Would you like to come
and hang out?"
"I'd love to," I said, entranced.
Her apartment was small and cozy.
She offered me a glass of red wine, and took one for herself.

"The great thing about road bike tires," I though to myself as
I sailed through the air. "Is that they are quite skinny,
and when properly inflated, very hard."
I had hit a rather large rock whilst joyously following gravity's
gentle tug.
I bounced up, but mostly sideways.
Toes locked in the clips, knuckles white around the lower handgrips,
I landed in a patch of gravel.

That night, drenched in sweat and flecked with blood, we made love
in the flickering light of a roomfull of candles.

I heard the first crunch of gravel under my wheel
"Shit" The most common last word on airplane flight recorders
There is a certain point, when balancing on a sliding line, where
you are balanced. Any further up, and you fall over. Any
further down, and you slide flat on the ground.
I wrenched my body around, seeking that point.
And found it.
And held it.
And started moving straight ahead.

The next morning, Death got up early and made me breakfast.
We decided to meet for lunch.

Riding home, the street was as smooth as glass, as grippy
as sandpaper.
All the lights were green.
The auotmobile exhaust smelt like patchouli.

Danger is the best drug.