cafe mama

a domestic realist blog

I think maybe if I push my body hard enough I'll stop thinking but of course it never works . 8 august . 2014

Rose and her bike c
resting the hill out of Oxbow Park

After I lead a bike tour through Portland I go camping to Oxbow Park with Rose.

Rose is reaching up into the sky for our food, we're eating plums and apples right out of the trees above us on the side of the road. We've been biking almost 20 miles already and it's now evening sun, we come into a long string of nursery farms just as the swifts all take flight from the cover crops, crimson clover, they fill the sky like ripe plums out of reach but these are moving so fast in their wild and free dance. The sun is coming down like magic hour, like light feeding us from the heavens, too, and we're almost there.

We've been told there is a hill into the campground and now we're upon it; the edge of the hill is right at the edge of the sunlight too, when you turn your bike wheels downward you're already in the forest and the temperature shifts like a door opening into a cool home, and so we just take the chance anyone would take in our shoes, on our wheels, we take our hands off the brakes and just let go. We know we're going to have to get back up and out but ohhh... the wind is rushing through everything, our hair our shirts our aching thighs.

It's not the sort of metaphor that makes any sense now. I'm going down-down-down into the forest where we'll build a fire and eat and talk about all my loves until I cannot talk any more, I'll wake up too early, always too early, with my hair smelling like smoke and my voice still hoarse and raw from local whiskey. I'll let it stay raw. Last summer I was talking about falling in love and climbing out but now I'm in, I'm in a love that isn't just cool stream and rocks and water to my ankles but everything, a wash of water that's taken me into the canyon depth. Flash flood and logjams. I can't get out and probably I never will.

So in the morning I haven't healed or solved anything and just put my hands on my handlebars and push that bike up the hill, thinking about it in increments, just to the next curve and then/10 minutes and then/before you know it we see the sunlight and blue sky and nursery cedar trees that means we're out. The swifts and dragonflies are there dancing around in the vitamin-blue sky. I'm not climbing up anything but a hill. I'm not sure what to do with this metaphor any more.

I just ride, put myself on my seat and ride, miles ticking away like minutes since I heard "present-tense love," like days since I stood like it would change anything if I watched you walk away, my thighs are twanging numbly and I know all I can do is pedal, up and down and into the heart of the city where I'll keep all my loves, now I'm counting them and they're ticking away too, I can keep pedaling, the loss swirls over my head like a waterfall and I close my eyes and open my mouth wide and gulp tears or heartache or melted snow, I open my mouth wide and breathe.

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read my previous post . on my skin . 24 july . 2014