Cecily Parks

Aubade with Bicycle

Seven a.m. in December in the middle of the street
I buckle my bike helmet and

hearing a glassy tapping look up at my love
framed in a window the size of a door as if he might step out

onto the spindly branch of the maple and balance there.
He blows me a kiss

and I want to rush back into the house
up two flights of stairs and into his arms our bed

but this is the time of day we leave each other. The wind blows
open the spaces between the maple branches

the parked cars almost shiver in the gusts
and I set my bicycle licking

down the wet black street past the yellow house the purple house
the Christmas lights fruiting

in the bushes, past the playground with its crowd
of leaves around the merry-go-round.

It rained in the night, the grass and mud ran
into the street and by the time

I reach the park flecks of mud have confettied
my shins my thighs. The puddles count the clouds.

The grass rises into a hill against a gray-blue sky
that unwraps itself to reveal another, bluer sky.

A man in the field throws a yellow ball
there is a silvery trail through the grass where his dog gives chase

and I let the bike go
down the hill past the matted barley-colored grasses

beyond which the marsh opens its little wet mouths
and my love must by now

be inside his car driving to work and so cannot feel this wind
blowing me back with such insistence that I wonder if

my bike makes any progress east as I seem to be taking forever
to slide by these slumped rows of cut Christmas trees that wait

for the nursery to open for someone with gloved hands
to run those hands over them take a deep breath

and say this is the one I want.

Cecily Parks is the author of the collection Field Folly Snow. Her second book, O’Nights, will be published by Alice James Books in April 2015. She teaches at Texas State University and lives in Austin.