Searing thighs stomp pedals
towards radiating pavement,
each pump another pressing decision.
Not the reflex begun
in Milwaukee’s morning rush,
but a conscious twilight effort
among anonymous county highways.
The river races the wrong way,
inviting me to collapse into its current
and drift home.
Let my pain come from overhanging branches
and shallow-water stones, better than
lactic acid buildup and the sense
that these hills are reproducing,
each summit birthing another,
until the bloodline finally
Nat Froiland is an undergraduate English major at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He will graduate in the Fall of 2017. His work has been published in The Merrimack Review.