Motorcycle Accident at Rush Hour

A woman panhandles on a traffic island
standing behind a cardboard sign
I bring my motorcycle alongside her
Something about her strikes me as odd

A green van in front of me
heads under the bridge
As I pass the woman, I notice
she is a double amputee
remounted now on aluminum
and rubber, maybe a vet

The green van stops suddenly
–metal on pavement
like a trash can full of gravel
thrown from a truck

The road stands up
and skids sideways
against my helmet
bees buzzing in my ears

A blond woman from the UK
with white glasses leans over me
her mouth moving kindly
but nothing coming out

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