there are certain things i refuse to do alone

1. i am helmeted and straddling
clyde (the bike)
at 7:45 in the morning
at the stoplight at university and park
woman pulls up next to me
on a scooter
and we exchange helmeted hellos
this is one way
of knowing you are with me
the other two ways occur when
paused several stoplights later
after having taken different routes
she shouts over two lanes of traffic
which way did you take?
wanting to know which is faster
and then
blocks later
while i round the corner
to the shuttle stop
she comes walking out of the parking garage
to the hospital
and shouts hello
i would get on my bike at 7:45 every morning
to have this kind of camaraderie/ biker/scooter solidarity

2. on the bus
adrienne says the word non-monogamy
then polyamory
and later
i say the word zine
and in the worlds we came from
these words are staples like salt
but here
on the campus shuttle
hurtling north on the i-5
where traffic is five wide lanes
these words
are secret
code
convincing us
if we try hard enough
we’ll figure out
at least one friend
we have in common

3. the jackknifing
sometimes
it is
too much

4. for the first time
i see an amazon kindle
in someone’s hands
i sneak peeks
when they aren’t looking
and i see that it is indeed
not backlit
which makes them less horrible
than i have thought

5. diving
into a sea
of union shirts
that read
“Educate! Agitate! Organize!”

6. in line
for our complimentary pastries
i meet another frankie
she’s from the vis arts program
and has a great grayblack hair
and a bulky shoulder bag

7. the smell
of newly sharpened pencils
on my fingers

8. to whoever you are
wherever you are
reading this right now:
you no longer need to apologize
for who you are
what you do
where you come from
in fact
you never needed to apologize in the first place

9. an email
to the queeruption list
from days ago
i refuse to delete it
not because of the content
but because the name that comes up on the email
is shadow wranglers

10. there are certain things
like going out to eat
or watching dvd movies
that i refuse to do
alone