Yamaha in Slow Motion


He's hard, dark: a gun hidden in a nightstand.
On the back of his bike, she clings like thick moss.
She tries to shield herself from the wind,
from the road, from the dense wilderness.
The birch trees wash into a mile long watercolor
when she feels the collision. She's lifted, caught
against a branch, and thinks her mother
was right: this boy is bad. But it's not a thought
so much, not so formal, just a series of cells
in her brain, a knowledge primal as wetness.
Her mouth full of road, she smells iron and salt,
a mist of gasoline, her mother's sweat, then eucalyptus.
She takes in splintered breaths. Her torso, a sheath
for branches. Alone, her body learns the bends of the tree.