Death of a Honda Rider
From the pothole’s asphalt vase
a sprig of red hibiscus waves
the traffic off.
A Honda rider,
knees splayed, grinning his route
through black self-generated air
floats his teeth across the windscreen
of the car in hot pursuit
of someone he desires or despises
more than us, the butt
of a revolver tucked into
his belt under the billowing shirt.
How soon before they stumble on his body
in a gully, the front wheel
of the Honda spinning slowly,
the engine ticking as it cools?
Air palpable as oil
from the cracked crank case
lubricates the black descending
of the crows. Whatever dreams
he dreams lying on his back
still exact the rictus smile
that lashed the corners of his mouth
to the center of his skull
where, under Rasta locks, his truth
was hidden and a million
revelations, spliff certified,
flared to a faith you could not face
unless you dared to ride the pillion.
Copyright © Ralph Thompson