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A Motorcycle Salesman Looks Back

By Jonathan Travelstead

Gone are the post-war dinosaurs whose death roars leaked
from their slash-cut pipes like twenty-weight crude. Gone, too,

is friction’s golden age, and the epoch of hub and greased axle
when the sprocket’s teeth were chained, worn smooth

as the piston’s wearisome slap. Machines are passing
from our lives. The new models have been disburdened

of the instrument cluster’s messy syntax so enlightenment
comes stock with the hardware’s removal. We've turned from

the Pythagorean nightmares of metric and standard systems,
shirked the dynamo for axion and joule. Thoreau,

even Sir St. Stephen Jobs III would beam at the godliness
of this simpler living. Take any body before this one.

Unfasten its cowling, peer inside at the horror of wet tines
and pinions, then tell me you prefer a musket to a laser beam.

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