cSkinny boys on skinny bikes 
cycle through the city with impunity.
Their tires caress the street like fingers on skin.

A crisp formation of columns
dissolves, splitting lanes of traffic and trickling through the gridlock.
Falling back into line, they reassemble on the other side.
Color-coordinated componentsrotate in relentless rhythm without commands or cadence calls.
The silent spinning is betrayed only by boisterous paintjobs.

Gulping down the cool night air
their chests heave with a brisk urgent greediness
except when the occasional car exhaust burns it’s way down their throats.

Skidding to a stop at the watering hole,
the group slide a spectrum of shoes from their pedal straps and cages.
Boot cut, dark wash, and skinny jeans alike all kick over their steeds and walk away.

Parked outside the pub,
a series of steel locks snake through wheels and frames.
As the men make their staggered exits, fewer frames remain.

The last one leaves.
And although all the bikes and riders are roaming the city,
without the whole group riding as one, the gang does not exist.

—————-

James Garside is a philosophy undergrad at the Metropolitan State University of Denver who uses his writing as a celebration, an examination, and an exorcism of various demons. With an irreverent, transgressive, and cheeky style that gives way to gravitas where appropriate, Garside’s writing is as much about crafting an amusing and accessible folk aesthetic as it is about exploring greater truth. In both his fiction and poetry, there is fresh diction, vivid discreteness, and eye for symmetry present throughout. A little bit hip-hop and a little bit hipster, his strong personality often shows itself in the narrative of his work.