A small girl clicks past
on a bicycle, shudders down a gear
as I sprint, greasy in the rain
to race her in secret. Her socked legs

tumble and fail, tiny scabs
of geranium flashing wet
on her knees as she flings herself
onto her driveway, bicycle

skewed like a crow. I fold double,
pant in the laughing wind.
In the frosted glass, her mother blurs,
tugs open the door

and I need it all of a sudden—
the gasping unveiling of gritty knees,
the silence of drizzle and rust.


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