Jun 24, 2008

Elegy of a Young Motorcyclist

Written by Ryan Courtwright

Read by Rachel Mallino

The barbed wire fence stripped
the boy’s body like an apple peeler
when he lost control — slid right through it.
Ribbons of him still dangle
like shoe laces that are too long —
and we might keep pieces inside ourselves
like mason jars of pickled radishes,
but they’re nothing to share with company;
they’ll sit in the back of our pantries,
the boy’s picture will stick on the wall,
an old report card he folded into his
back pocket with a forged signature,
will be sloughed off into a dusty box,
when they’re done deconstructing
his bedroom becomes the inky spare
bedroom the baby gets who will never understand
who the pictures are but will know
not to respond to mother’s night terrors —
standing at the door mumbling his name.