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BICYCLING HOME AT DUSK I CLOSED MY EYES & LET GO & SAW THE RABBITS by John Paul Davis

The headwind runs cool fingers through my hair. The opal
of rain clouds & the treeline lit up like the eyes of a woman & I am drunk, pedaling faster than I am dying. The divorce

The headwind runs cool fingers
through my hair. The opal

of rain clouds & the treeline
lit up like the eyes of a woman

& I am drunk, pedaling faster
than I am dying. The divorce

getting smaller & smaller behind
me but still big enough I know

when it’s breathing. Drunk & fast,
I’m a procession of heartbeats

somewhere between where I’ve come from
& where I’m going. Long before

I met her, when I was still a child
the great bird of loneliness

came to roost in me. I didn’t want
to drink it to sleep tonight. I let go,

first my wedding hand, sinister hand,
certain hand, then the other, divorce hand,

love hand, writing hand. The frogs
purring in the creek & I close my eyes

as a way to hear everything
better. I pray

out loud because I’m the only human
creature there. I want to be a glad

man. I want to go up singing.
Forgive my hands, false

& true hands, fail & try hands
that each release so easy

let me be an animal
that believes again

& I hear them first, urgencies
of fur over the pavement

then open my eyes & I
see the rabbits

little arcs of their leaping
taking the shape of rainbows,

& disintegrating as quickly,
dozens of them, bolts

of brown & iron light
a promenade before the quivering

of my front wheel as if to say
this is a new road, it is the same

road but it is a new road, the rabbits
the rabbits & then it is night

& they are gone & I am alone
in my humming & burning,

the stars throwing
light from before the age

of vertebrates across space at me.
I saw the rabbits. I said

amen & I am still
saying it. I go home with dust

on my ankles. The rabbits
flashed east & west

in front of my face splitting
the air into two fists of turbulence,

roads often & less taken
& this burned me, eternally

the way music can burn
& home, at the river

my bicycle fluttering
against the house

from the ride & I stand
at the kitchen door hearing

what the current & the trees
have to tell me & I am rabbit,

I am furry-souled now, I have now a heart
with the hocks & long hind

legs of a rabbit, my deepest self
long-eared & listening

I have now a way to kick & sprint,
& a way of knowing the wind

& its fickle cousin the river,
I have two new hands.

 

 

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About John Paul Davis

John Paul Davis
John Paul Davis is a curator of Page Meets Stage. He was a founding member of Real Talk Avenue, and is the former editor of Bestiary Magazine and Em Literary. He currently lives in Brooklyn. His website is www.johnpauldavis.org