Liminal

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.
It happens
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.

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