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Bourbon and the Biker Babe by Dave Malone | Word Riot

August 15, 2010      

Bourbon and the Biker Babe by Dave Malone

Listen to a podcast of Dave Malone’s “Bourbon and the Biker Babe.”

You bike ride
as the Harleys ride.
Fast, dangerous, close.

No gears but high.
No throttle but full.
Rest is not a stop,
but death. We bike
slick across railroad tracks


into the street,
both of us headfirst
like old-school slides
into second base. Wrapping our arms
around iron and railroad spike.

You are up first,
not a scratch,
your skin as smooth as Ozark rock
rivered down from centuries
of May rain and creekbed fury.

I’m slower. Nose scuffed, head light,
as if I’m in a tiny room close to you.
Towering over train track,
I’m up and your voice wakes
my ear to the drizzle,
low-rider traffic and cardinal reprise.

At home I clean my wounds
until the friendly poison sings.
I pour bourbon straight
searching for the keys
to the smallest room I might know.

About the author:

Dave Malone makes his home in the Ozarks. He is the author of two books of poetry, most recently Under the Sycamore (Elder Mountain Press). His interests include sustainable living, college football, and the teachings of Alan Watts. His poems have appeared in Elder Mountain: A Journal of Ozark Studies, Spindrift, Tattoo Highway, Mid Rivers Review, and decomP. He blogs on the web at

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