The Big Wheel
There are those moments late in life
when the mind clearly takes hold of
the big wheel of the body and steers
us both away from imminent disaster.
Sometimes the the boat capsizes and
everyone drowns. Some call this a break or
a midlife crisis, who’s to say right then and there
which path is most necessary.
All I know is there are those days
when city life runs me over good and flat
and I find myself staring blankly at a kid near
a rack of bikes on a street corner.
Or maybe I am crossing a street watching
two drivers in a heated argument, near that
point where guns get drawn. The mind sees the
big wave coming and says, “fuck this.”
And in an instant I am on a December train
right outside of Portland watching the last patch
of white pines near a still lake in The Cascades.
Then the kid slashing each tire before
overturning each bike like a stack of dominoes
is not the catalyst. Nor is the man reaching
into the center console for the gun before pointing
it out the passenger side window and
pulling the trigger, a reason to crack like a
piece of clay left out in the sun for too long.
He instead is the reason to find Sandra
under the Manhattan Beach Pier on the
last ditch day of high school. A reason to kiss
her hard again as the evening tide runs up the aged
legs of a pier that will never crumble.
Billy Burgos is an illustrator/designer/poet from Los Angeles. He is a curator on staff at Gotpoetry.com. In 2007, Billy was chosen as an up-and-coming poet by the Los Angeles Poetry Festival. He has served as workshop facilitator of the Beyond Baroque Wednesday-night workshop and hosts the First Sunday Open Reading at Beyond Baroque. Billy is the host of Word Ballast. His first full-length collection of poetry called Eulogy to an Unknown Tree is out now on Writ Large Press.