Heading east on Route 6,
A young couple scutters by
On a motorbike. Harley, I think.
On their way to the beach. I can
See his feet are bare, resting inches
From the muffler’s burning heat—oh
The recklessness of young men
That makes them so exciting
To fuck, and sends them off
To war, whistling and marching.
I still remember both my brothers
As young men, and the motorcycles
They scrimped and saved to buy.
What foreign lives they lived
With their deer hunts, and their
Love of speed, and their boring jobs
In factories. When they jumped
The starters and roared off helmetless
And fast, I feared they’d lose their lives
weaving through the freeway traffic.
Wherever it was they needed to get
So fast, neither ever reached. One
Is dead now from drugs and drink.
And the other finally sold his bike
After it laid for years, disassembled
On the bedroom floor where his kids
Used to sleep before the divorce,
Before his wife moved out, and
Took them all away to another state.