Elaine Terranova Tan Espadrilles

I am scarcely pedaling, the wind is carrying me off on my bike. Down the wide avenue. I detect a whiff of salt in the air, shore air. Tan espadrilles are light on my feet below beige linen trousers. A light shirt over my t-shirt flies out to the sides in the breeze I am making. I am propelled by sunlight, following you, weaving in and out of cars in the light traffic that edges the street. You are before me, showing the way. I try to catch up, with my loopy, less powerful legs. The bike and I are one fantastical creature, a hybrid, a female centaur. If I am any lighter, I will dissolve. Maybe we are back in Ocean City after so many years, islanded by water, nothing familiar, free to appear or disappear. Or I am lifting off into the sky of my childhood, in Logan, all the shops going by, the kosher butcher, the fishman, the bakery that makes creampuffs and streudels. But when I look for you, after you, you are gone. I turn off where I thought I saw you turn off, into a narrow, shaded street in Italy or California, and lean the bike against the white-framed, plate glass window of a pizzeria. I wander in and the men are in white aprons, taking a smoke, slouched in wooden chairs as they wait for the wood burning ovens to be ready. But I ask and they haven’t seen you. I go back out and reunited with my bike, don’t know whether to keep riding and leave to chance my hope to catch up with you somewhere or turn around.

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