8. Run: July

The golden hour turns to ruby.

I see a young man,

also jogging, and race him.

We run side by side, both

 

in white tees and black pants,

not looking at each other, not smiling;

the only thing connecting us

is speed.

 

The branches of a weeping birch

look like wet paint

running down the canvas.

I can feel droplets of sweat on my forehead.

 

Before he can catch up with me,

the guy takes a turn,

which means I have won

on a technicality—

 

but now I’m out of breath.

I slow down to a walk,

thinking that next time,

maybe a smile would do.