The Bicycle Ride

In the country of confusion my father
passes by clumsily on a three-speed
unaware of the state he inhabits.
You might say he's confused, and mistakes
long silences for the luscious drone
of an angel's wing sweeping overhead.
You might say he cannot focus on
confusion, that he rides along the sunny
streets of disorientation as if he were
gliding over them, an insect following
the ancestral scent to the cave.
I wave and he nods a little, lowering
his chin. Think of me, I think aloud,
hoping he registers the amplification
and frequency somewhere along the ride.
Don't worry, I hear him call out,
I know this country well. How could you,
I ask. How could you.
He jerks the handlebars right and left
and turns out of sight. All night I invent
dreams of betrayal and loss,
where at the end of the road the inexplicable
divides from the unexplained,
and the ringing of my father's little bell
stops the traffic cold.

by Henry Israeli

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