Descending a Ten-percent Grade on a Bicycle at Midnight: Sundance, Utah

by Scott Elgin Calhoun

it is better than any lipstick
you have ever taken off the hot
mouth of a woman, even better
than the best wooden roller coasters

in the moonlight without a helmet
I follow the yellow line
my only guide
the wind
slicking my hair back
like a mannequin
dropped from a biplane

the engines of lovers
whir inside parked and heated cars
at the edge of the canyon road
a generator hums on a motorhome somewhere
in the peaks Robert Redford sleeps
above him a glacier

but I am delicately potent
and alone like a WWI pilot
who has run out of gas
and is gliding silently down
into a field of poppies near Bapaume
without a match to light
a cigarette or pen to write
a letter