Her sharp features made me wonder – is she French?

A group of hopefuls surrounded her at the party, competing for attention.

Striding by, I tipped my hat.

“Hey, you’re that writer!”

“I read your article about that motorcycle racer who works in a coal mine.

You must be crazy to have gone down inside that mine.”

All eyes shifted to me.

“I heard you write about motorcycle racing,

but that article conveys the human element as well.”

The last comment caught me off guard.

She asked where she could find more of my work.

I was drowned out by the full-volume party,

so instead handed her my card.

Text if you have any questions ok?

Her lengthy the next day text floored me.

Fearing my reply might get lost in translation,

I suggested meeting for coffee.

I didn’t realize coffee included dessert.

Our conversations were refreshing after the trauma of online dating.

The simplest things meant the most.

Holding hands and endless kisses – such a decadent treat.

We ate at my favorite taqueria or got coffee on the road.

Rolling down blue highways, her arms round my waist, her head resting on my shoulder.

It was a lifetime ago since I had a woman ride with me.

Pure magic after solitary ages.

It felt good to quit chasing fences.


Taylor spilled out her life over coffee.

Bad habits became a lifestyle,

hotel living, a step ahead of the marshals.

Being stripped of freedom.

Nineteen months of state time for doctoring cell phones and computers for a meth ring.

Detoxing on a cell floor.

Lock downs and 6AM counts.

The joys of having your cell tossed.

From so many shades to one eyeliner.

Longing for a pillow to put your head on.

A life with no comfort.

Stripped of your name,

given a number: PB7423.

Plenty of time to reflect,

learning to live in your lane,

and never wanting to wear brown again.

Her HP shone down on her

as she found her way.

With nothing left, she climbed out of who she was.

Clean and sober, and a walking-talking miracle.

Lying in bed,

she surveys the evidence of my life over the limit.

Ugly scars, bones that don’t line up.

So why do you do it?

I shrug my shoulders and look into her eyes.

I wanted to tell her everything,

but didn’t want to screw this up.

Her body presses up against mine, her lips touch mine gentle.

​The magic of one on one.

She pulls the sheets up and covers herself like a lady.

Can you make me a Breve please,

and are you going to tell me what it’s like to race a motorcycle?

I try a diversion:

it’s part of me I don’t like to share.

​Going over the limit and risking it all just seems dumb to those who don’t.

Too often I’ve been misunderstood or dismissed as reckless.

Having to explain myself feels like backpedaling.

I’d rather just carry it with me.

Jail does something to people.

A cold harshness leaks out from time to time,

and her words sting: am I just too sensitive?

The pause tells me I wasn’t right.

She texts back  ‘only tell you cause I love you.’

Shocked by her omission, I replied:

“And just then

the sun shone

through the clouds,

rays of her love

illuminate the sky,

the racer slows

realizing there is more

to life than just speed.”


Michael Lawless [@electric_horseman], our ‘Poet of Packed Earth’, is the Flat Track Editor for TheVintagent.com, and has his own blog: Electric Horseman
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