Thrust then blur, ripe speed, a gentle pricking
of atmosphere into the black yonder:

carrying a payload of past-due bills
from father, mother’s invoice of regret,

the backyard family trash exploding up
out of a watery basement, where shelves sag

under the weight of time, you muscle past
aimless geese and grazing clouds, staking claim

to a future unpredicted by corner
commentators, those who’d have you flail

and fall. It could be ghetto. Could be bones
splintery since birth. Might be cross-eyed stairs

you couldn’t climb, unsolved story problems,
the needle of hunger. Or just every

dull day flattening mind into a thin broth
of No. Whatever. To trigger ignition

in such conditions requires X. You are
Y. Go ahead and throttle Z round Z’s

fat neck: smell the aggression of incline.
While your visored helmet rattles and fogs—

eyes hammered into sockets—a snaky
tether provides your vitals to the watching

few and the greater world awaiting. Life’s
not cheap at this burn rate. Out here there’s

no air save your own breath. You’ve gone so long
not talking, words feel like food in your mouth.