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Books: A New Poem by Ashleigh Young

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From the way his voice went, it was clear that he loved motorbikes.

He sounded happy and excited. He was smiling

and the volume was good. It made you feel glad

that he’s got a job where he can do what he loves

 

which is riding and also fixing motorbikes. At the end

everything went lower in pitch and a bit softer

as the content got more serious and more sad.

You were out there with him on the open roads.

 

His body language made me think of Michael Phelps

who is said to be very uncomfortable on land.

Some people are just biomechanically meant for other environments.

Phelps has size 14 feet attached to double-jointed ankles

 

which work like fins. Maybe our friend is designed

to move only on wheels. I got a sense of disconnection

with his gestures. Whenever he tried to move his hands expressively

he would stall halfway through, and go into reverse!

 

Then he’d fold his arms defensively. Especially

when he talked about his brother. His eye contact

was intermittent at best. Wasn’t eye contact

his goal all along? He should re-evaluate that goal.

 

Here’s this big tall guy, leather jacket, he has found

what he loves. He’s out there on the weekends.

He is in a supportive environment here. But he had

this way of talking, like: his voice doesn’t quite know

 

how to come out of his face. Why does he have to stare

at the ground, when he is among friends? You can have patience

with someone’s struggles for a length of time

but not for much longer than one minute.

 

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