How I know it is real
and how I know I am I.
Spring runoff flowing sweetly
through the roadside ditches
with these particular details:
that preternatural shade of green
that is anything but; clear plastic
water bottles and blue aluminum cans
in the tangle of leaf mold; the blur
from atop my moving bike
that makes me dizzy and aware
in that very moment that I am
truly alive, this one immaculate day.
The mole over my lowest right rib
that a bluegill once nipped
and the arrow-shaped scar
that points to it like the dipper
to the pole star, and the color
and curve of my penis.
This emptiness, a mix
of habitual sadness and
the more specific numbness
of grief; the scent and flavor of it:
blur, and mold, and pole star.
The firm hold on the handle bars
that steers me between the speeding cars
and the slow careening to the ditch.