—May 26th, low 80s, sunny and clear

The sun set behind
the Preble County Line,
an orange glo-ball staining the cirrus
wisps caressing the horizon.

I turned my back on its glory
after 25 blazing miles
to the corner of County Line
and Dayton-Farmersville Rd.

After making the right
to head east, the direction home,
the full moon ascended,
rising weakly above early corn.

For each degree the star fell, a satellite
rose. As the sun purpled and dimmed
below the land, the moon whitened
amidst the darkening blue.

They were opposite jewels
balanced on the wheeling sky.
What day’s harbinger burned away—
my sweat, my spit—the night globe

returned to me, curling mist into
shaded groves edging farm fields,
moistening the dry lump of my tongue.
Deer strolled across the road,

moonlight-addled, brown tails down.
Their whites sprang erect and they fled,
hearing chain spin through sprockets, my pedals
rotating the heavens from day to night.

about the author
Fred Kirchner has published a chapbook, Platform of an Unacknowledged World Legislator (Main Street Rag), and his poetry has also appeared in several anthologies—most notably, The Art of Bicycling: A Treasury of Poems (Breakaway Books). He is overjoyed that his cycling poetry’s in the same book as a poem by Marco Pantani, the last man to win the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France in the same year. Marco “Il Pirata” Pantani was one of the greatest climbers in cycling history—racing up the steepest alpine roads in Europe. Fred can make it to the top of Thruston Rd. hill in Oakwood.