Where we’ve pedaled to there’s salt leaving dried white trails on the canyons of the earth and of our skin. The night sky is a womb or a room, it’s hard to hear you over the ripping of the wind. It could be either. It could be both. One of my soles is split. It collects canyon dirt and my foot turns it into canyon mud. Our tinkering shadows look like mechanical bugs over the heap of our bicycles. There is dirt on my face and your face and we kiss over our open packs.
Life can be different things growing for different reasons. We snuff out one growth to support another. Your womb and your breast are my examples. So we pedal to places we’ve never seen before, do things we’ve never done.
I don’t want this to be a cancer story so much as a growth story.
You trace for me an 8 in the dust, but I want it to be something else, so I turn my head sideways. Questioning the artist’s intent. And all that. In the sky there is a shooting star or a satellite or a UFO. Something high and flying. You trace its trajectory in the dirt and I try to keep up with a line of my own but the wind blows it out and leaves yours.
I have magnesium for the fire but you say if our ancestors didn’t need magnesium then you don’t either. I can’t smile so I say you’re a pain in the ass and you get it. The blisters on your hands are pillows for tiny people. The fire makes the branches fall into each other like they’re drunk. I lift your shirt so the half-moon of your belly’s lit and you sketch the way your veins must look to our child, like lightning spun by a spider.
The marshmallows I’ve stuck become spacecraft burning up in reentry. I blow yours out before brown turns to black but mine I let burn for a while. Mine I let char. You tell me it’s ready, time to put it out, but I let it burn. You try to take my stick with your dirty hand but I grab it, kiss it till the canyon dirt sticks to my lips in spots you say look like negative stars. I let it burn till coagulated marshmallow goo spreads down the stick and hardens in the breeze.
When it’s time to sleep I ask if you want the fire out.
You’ll stay up, you say. You’ll put it out when it’s time.