Ode to “Motoby”

a poem

we met in Saigon
I passed a photograph of you,
your friend was in it too
you could have been related,
your features were the same,
you had a matching casual lean
but it was you who snagged my
eye, you and that star tattoo
I saw many others with your
same shape, same look,
different shade
the streets were a monotone view of
the same same, but different
on display, in new coats, with
new leather, new whatever
but you, I recognized you from your picture–
that casual lean
you stood humbly beneath the awning
at the side of the road,
unscrubbed, unpolished, nothing new
five’o’clock shadow on five’o’clock shadow
and there, beside you, like in the picture,
was your friend
it was perfect, really, the way
things were going,
as my friend was with me too,
and he had an eye for that
dark, curvy girl you leaned with
it was shameless, really,
the way we looked you both
up and down, over and around,
and then talked about you as though you
couldn’t hear a sound
we objectified you
but at least you knew from the start,
just how it was going to end
we’re not assholes
we’re just honest
don’t get me wrong,
I truly felt a pull to you
but I was in no place for
long-term commitment,
you understand
I know your history
you’ve been thrown to the wolves before,
treated like crap
tossed back and forth between
men and women, young and old
who rode you like they’d never see you again
and did exactly that
I didn’t promise long-term
but I vowed to be good to you,
if you did the same for me
I believe it was an unspoken agreement
you were passed off to me from your last relationship, and
if you haven’t learned,
it’s a tough cycle to break
I barely knew what to do with you at first
I turned you on and you got all revved up
it made me nervous
I took you for a ride
around the block
I think I moved too fast for you, ’cause you burned me,
that very first day
right on the ankle
it’s okay, I should have been more gentle
it made me realize that
you could really hurt me
so I was careful
our whole relationship was a double date,
what with my friend and your friend,
who really hit it off,
gallivanting around with us like
some sort of gang
we met in Saigon
our first date, we went to the tunnels together,
but then we were late,
and had to find a hotel in the dark,
and you stayed outside all night with your friend,
and I stayed inside with mine,
but then we all went for breakfast–
noodle soup
I think we really got to know each other
those first few days,
and from the beginning, we created
a solid foundation
of respect
that’s how we survived
the four weeks to come
you took me places I could never have gone
on my own
you were a real gas, sometimes
remember once, when the going got a little
rocky, and
everything came crashing down?
and for a moment,
I thought we were doomed
but we both got up again, and brushed ourselves off,
and continued on
it was a bumpy road, but we made it through
you were the best adventure buddy
if I wanted to go somewhere, you were always game,
always right there with me
you kinda just rolled with it
sometimes you frustrated me with your
always having to take you in for a check up
especially near the end
it’s like you knew it was coming
you started to have problems, little ones at first
until they started to get bigger, and at times it felt like
you were giving up on me
maybe because you knew our time was up
you knew from the beginning, but
we had a special time, and
I think you held false hope that maybe
I would be the one, finally,
to stay with you forever
to not pawn you off to the next excitable adventurer who
wanted you for a good time,
and not a long time
you were wrong
I’ll never forget you, Hon, you were my first
but there’s a whole world out there,
with things to do and people to meet and
bikes to ride
it was heartbreaking to see the way
you completely shutdown
when it was time to say goodbye
you were in a bad state
I’m just glad we found someone
to leave you with
who really seemed to care
because I just couldn’t do it anymore
we met in Saigon,
and I left you
in Hanoi
goodbyes are inevitable
memories are forever
you’re a Winner, Hon–remember that
and I’ll remember you


3 thoughts on “Ode to “Motoby”

  1. Sweetie, that poem rocks! I really enjoyed it, and was thinking of how you came about to write it, and why. Like writing, maybe biking is in your blood. Please be careful with the Hons of your life – they can bite! I’m talking from first hand experience…

    Love, Dad


    1. Thanks Pops!
      I think it is in my blood, and I think you’re to blame. And by blame, I mean thank. You’re right, being careful is key. This Hon knocked me down a few notches when I started getting cocky. Lesson learning 101.
      Love you!


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