Rachel O'Neill

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The centre line

She turns at the noise. Riders in dog masks whoosh left and right –
they show off, skid, and right themselves, looping wide but never
ceasing to creep back upon her tyres.
One rider she knows because of the bike – behind the mask there’s
a girl smiling, the same girl who’d hit on her at a party last summer –
it’d been humid and they’d clung, tongue-tips budding meat-pink
between their teeth.
She turns, but the cyclists are skulking down a side road. In the
hideout of night she rides with her shadow, trailing one hand in its
oil and its slips of silence. With her other she grips the handlebar
and her bike fumbles along the centre line.

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