Pete's Last Ride

one time
one time only
a motorcycle was her chair
that chair flying
down a long straight country road

young Pete driving
she hanging on behind
her arms about him
one hand in his pants

no floor
but the streaming road
below their feet
no walls
but the whistling wind
no roof
but the overarching trees
whip whipping past

Pete's strong body
Pete's steady grip

a sudden turn
made her gasp
as he left the road
plunged onto a narrow winding trail
through a sumac thicket
braked to a stop

he took her hand
led her from the bike
tumbled her
in the grass
by a field
with corn
just breaking
the earth

two weeks later
cold spring rainy night
Pete sprawled under his cycle
head against the curb
on wet city street
painted with bright
taillights trailing long red smears

ambulance roaring to a stop
medics bending down to
lift the bike
from Pete's twisted body
could not make out the words
that bubbled
through the blood
from his mouth

Two Portraits

he came in slamming the door behind him
saying oops
but I noticed his smile grow larger
this slambuoyant friend of mine

doctor told him
you have a pathological condition
how true said my friend
I walk the path illogical
leaping off high cliffs
at least two feet tall
falling on my face again and again
but it's worth it
for the times I land on my feet
astonishing everyone

he jumped out of a plane in his undershorts
in harness with a half-naked woman
contrary to some people's expectations
(or was it their secret wish?)
the chute opened and they landed safely
laughing and shouting and rolling on the ground

bittersweet the mixture
of admiration resentment and envy
as I said well done asshole
you should try it sometime he said
to me who always plays it safe

Bob Brill has published fiction in Lunarosity, Bewildering Stories, Flashquake, M-Brane SF, The Cynic Online Magazine and other journals, as well as short memoir pieces in Flashquake. His poems have appeared in Simply Haiku, Prune Juice, 3Lights Gallery, 3Lights Journal, Aphelion, The Battered Suitcase, Willows Wept Review, Frogpond and tinywords. He is the featured senryu poet in the Autumn 2009 issue of Simply Haiku. He is awaiting publication at Atlas Poetica and Magnapoets.

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