I didn’t wear a helmet as much
as I should have. Then,
I understood danger—
the glory of risk, what causes
people to cliff-dive, to jump out
of planes, to leap higher and higher,
to fall away from the sun. What it means
to have only two wheels, a sputtering engine,
the driver, to keep you aloft. The teeter over
potholes. The balm of gas in your nostrils.
How the bike swivels around curves, tilting you—
your trust in the other then absolute. How
wonderful to believe so much in another—
that it takes your life in their hands, the price.
The promise of blood ever balanced—
you imagine your bones crushed into dust,
and yet, you jump on the seat again, you feel the
hot rumble against your thighs, the wind slapping
your eyes shut — enough to scream with the engine
down the pavement, exhaust streaming,
straddling the edges, fine as a knife.
Anna Cabe's work has appeared or is forthcoming in Bitch, Terraform, The Toast, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Yes Poetry, Noble / Gas Qtrly, and HEArt Journal Online, among others. She received her MFA in fiction from Indiana University and was formerly the nonfiction editor for Indiana Review. She is currently a 2018-2019 Fulbright Fellow in the Philippines where she is completing a novel. You can find Anna at annacabe.com.