← Issue 1 

Borrowed Bike

by Larry Narron

Oh! to be poor and twenty-six in San Francisco!
—Uncle David

The handlebars vibrate,
wobble as if someone else
is steering me down this trail
that pretzels through Golden Gate Park.

I must have faith
the rust that nibbles
won’t tear this loosening
frame out from under my legs.  

I stutter
over little sharp rocks
camouflaged by the dark,
every one of them whispering
death threats.

As silhouettes of dead leaves
slash the galaxies blind,
the stars, my excellent comrades,
refuse to stop waving
their sabers of massacred light.

In my backpack,
the pages of Anna Karenina
read themselves to each other;
the letters of long Russian names
rehearse a ballet on my spine.

Larry Narron is a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania. His poems appear or are forthcoming in Phoebe, Santa Clara Review, The Brooklyn Review, Berkeley Poetry Review, and elsewhere. They’ve been nominated for the Best of the Net and Best New Poets and awarded the Dorothy Rosenberg Memorial Prize in Lyric Poetry. Larry works as a research assistant and reading specialist intern in Philadelphia.