10+ | Revolutions

Keaton Haire Best of Boneshaker


by Elizabeth Oxley

(10+ | Beyond issue ten—special release)

Jeans snarl in spokes, and I tumble
from my bicycle at yard’s edge. Summer

frogs gather, gullets pulsing a baritone hum,
start and stall of tiny engines. I pick gravel

from my knee. It is six years since the fall
of Saigon. At night, my parents fight

in their bedroom. When we leave my father,
it’s for a town with winding creeks, canted

cemetery hill where I lift my feet and coast,
tires running tight orbits. At school, we practice

sitting in hallways with our heads covered.
The wall comes down in Berlin. Students

pedal to Tiananmen Square, bodies sprawled
across our television. Saturdays, I ride

to play pinball at the gas station, hair tied back,
wind stroking my forehead. My legs burn

on the climb. I tug on handlebars to keep my balance.
It was my father who first held me steady

until I trusted the frame to carry me. He let go
with his hands, smiled and raised arms, trembling.

Illustration by
Keaton Haire

Evan P. Schneider