She rides a 32-year-old bike
through the snow without crashing.
Does not get the wind
knocked out of her.
No gulping + gasping for breath
in the middle of Central Park
rush hour traffic. There’s no such
thing as Central Park rush hour
traffic these days. No such thing
as people + vehicles coming + going
in the tight confines of the alley
behind her apartment building.
It’s a lie.
all day + night.
Dumpster divers, garbage collectors, smokers, Lyft + Uber drivers,
candlestick makers + her.
It’s a lie—
those tire tracks
in the snow.
Her duende + guardian angel
have been traveling abroad so long
she can’t decipher fiction
from nonfiction, from the beautiful
friction between. She can’t remember
how to decode the darkness.
A 21-speed all-terrain Trek model
for the urban commuter
collects dust in the basement.
She has no idea
where she put the key
to that Kryptonite U-lock.
She really only knows how to run.
Cannot keep pace with her younger self,
who lately taunts + baits her
to take roads only her duende
(or is it her guardian angel?)
knows how to traverse.
She wears a newfound patience
as a waterproof poncho
against the elements.
Her younger self would have cut it
into pieces like some useless bedsheet
to twist into headbands
to trap the sweat of unexamined fear.
A rooftop dance party is another
euphoric recall episode
to record before it’s too late.
If she wrote a memoir,
would anyone read it?
Damn you, duende + guardian angel.
Get home soon. These elbows
have rested on this sill too long.