I looked through the window of the dead
bar. Marantha was slow dancing
with the semblance of Rāfe. They were
shape shifting like shadows on a wall—
The barkeep said, ‘Anders, it’s time.
There in the recess of memory a ghost
biker looks warmly upon us as we race downhill,
Marantha humming on the handlebar, and Rāfe
on the back rack, facing traffic—a childish dare,
the origin of the end coming fast on the river.
Sometimes I’ll bike to the edge of an ocean.
Or stop in the middle of a lake. Or swerve
to the middle of a frozen pond. Water
shines with ghost light. Deep down
I see the dead riding their ghost bikes.
On the far bank of the Colorado, Rāfe
was standing on the pedals of his bike, watching
me cross the river from Yuma to California.
‘Anders, he shouted, I was just in Kansas, I camped
at Pawnee Rock, I carved my name in the sandstone!
You must have missed me humming down the Superstitions.
Then I followed him to the center of the world
where a sundial was out of time because it’s precisely
accurate only once a year at noon on Christmas day.
But still there was time to climb spiral Section 12
of the original Eifel Tower and to follow the pointing
of the gnomon to the chapel on the manmade hill
where Rāfe was standing on the pedals of his bike.
‘Anders, he shouted, can you see the Bridge to Nowhere.
I’m heading there now because there’s nowhere else to go.
The rocks were moving over the desert,
the desert was moving under the rocks—
the barren scraping of a salt flat.
My bike and I moved with the desert
and the rock—all an orchestration
of a sharp symphonic scale.
At Furnace Creek, I heard the melody—
a mule and roadrunner listened with me.
Toward us strummed the looming of Telescope Peak.