He rode “no hands,” speeding
headlong down the hill near
our house, his arms extended,

held rigid away from his body,
our small daughter behind him
on the bike in her yellow sunsuit,

bareheaded. She held on to him
for her life. I watched them from
above—helpless failed brake.

Far below us, a stop sign rose
like a child’s toy shield. He could
not stop, he would not. That hunger

for display overrode danger, illusions
of safety. Even death had less to do
with it than the will’s eventual triumph

over stasis: how he’d finally fly free
and how she might accompany him,
as an audience travels with a performer,

an object of regard. Downward, fast—
so what cannot stop holds on, holds on
in a mind flying away from itself, seeking

release from the soul speeding away, yet
staying close as breath, even at this distance.