Reversing Paul Revere’s Direction on the Minuteman Bike Path

Through moon shadow
divested of its dash,
half helmetless and pliant,

we ride the bike path
as late sap lifts its way
to the stars. The dark

closes around us with its
scruffy palms, then opens
over fields that rear themselves

to forever. All along the tactful
asphalt, confessions,
questions goading and receding.

Do the stars, long harmonizing
their own collapses,
mind that they light up both our blemishes

and our spokes? Now we are
civilians tramping over last year’s
mulberry stain, between

rabbits that skitter
near our one wish:
to be doused

in the spring night’s blaze,
escaping the cool conclusion
that camaraderie

trumps infatuation,
that hormones are nothing more
than weekend hoodlums

who scoff at our lumens,
at our fenders
brushing and whining,

the planets dinning,
the bike’s easy saddle saying
There is nothing safer in this world.

Aphorisms for a School Bus Driver

A prominent overbite might slice
the cheese face off the moon.

A gear stripped in glad adoration
summons the suicides from their torpor.

Only in December
can forgotten Latin conjugations

dangle like unlit cigarettes
from the mouths of the tubby

and treacherous eggheads in row ten.
In wartime, herbicide

is as good as bad brakes.
An affectionate indifference greases

every door lever. A busy wrist
is a blight for the Bible.


~  ~  ~
tom-daleyTom Daley leads writing workshops in the Boston area and online. Recipient of the Dana Award in Poetry, his poetry has appeared in Harvard Review, Massachusetts Review, Fence, Denver Quarterly, Crazyhorse, Witness, Poetry Ireland Review, museum of americana, and elsewhere. He is the author of two plays, Every Broom and Bridget—Emily Dickinson and Her Irish Servants and In His Ecstasy—The Passion of Gerard Manley Hopkins, which he performs as one-man shows. FutureCycle Press published House You Cannot Reach—Poems in the Voice of My Mother and Other Poems, in the summer of 2015.