pedestrian cheekbones

pedaling east
under pre-sunset sky
stormwind at my back
you should see how this light
bronzes stucco church buildings
gilds pedestrian cheekbones
softens a rough-edged world even in this unseasonable cold

the mountains/hills whose names i always ask of people
and either no one knows what to tell me
or i have difficulty remembering
but those mountains
and how they rise
patches of purple, dust brown and grey


the woman at the grocery store smiles at me as she walks from the parking lot to the front door
while i unlock my bike
it’s a real big smile
how far do you ride?
she asks
wind lifting her shortcurled browngrey hair
i live about three miles from here
i say
and then she disappears behind a while to find a basket and comes back out and says
it’s a wonderful thing you are doing
and i give a grateful awwww, thank you
because no one has ever really told me that
and especially not with such genuineness
and starred-eyes
(as if she’d never seen anyone bike away from a grocery store before
with stuffed panniers
and, well, perhaps she hasn’t)