Praise the little motorcycle that wasn’t,
praise learning to think in kilometers
where you once reasoned in miles, praise
filling up a tank for less than five US dollars
and it lasts for weeks.
you decide it’s time to go kissing the wind again,
praise the rushing wind, the way it feels
like no other home you’ve known, praise
learning to lean into turns, praise the zigs
and the zags and 125CCs, praise travel that keeps you as
in and of the land, praise the banana groves,
the bin lang groves, the roadside shrines,
the corner temples, praise the stink
of fermenting tofu and the savory steam
of mutton. Praise the rains
when they come and soak through to the bone.
Praise pushing your limits, and the machine’s
limits, and feeling freedom and glory, praise wanting
nothing more than to rip off the helmet and lean
headfirst into the atoms as they race past your face
except to arrive alive so you don’t. Praise
the full coverage helmet, praise every single
involuntary time you imagine what would happen
if you leaned just a little too far. Praise the wreckage
you see that keeps you from leaning too far.
Praise parking on the beach. Praise breathing in
the smog. Praise driving on the sidewalk. Praise knowingevery inch of this island is now within reach.