Eric Braude

A History of Transportation

My right wrist reminds me
on damp days
of my Mosquito Max,
a gas-powered Italian motor

bolted to my bike’s
back wheel. I didn’t care
about the night
a driver failed to notice me,

and broke my wrist—
Max’s buzz meant liberty.
Until its greasy aspect
began to smurch the atmosphere

and I dismembered it
to bathe each part in gasoline,
to become itself again.
Reassembly proved

too puzzling so I graduated
to a Vespa, second hand but a pithy red
upon repainting. I wore
sunglasses straight from Italy

or somewhere close. Separated
from my scooter while I moved
to grad school, I recall
the railroad man throwing open

Freight Car 10 to reveal
my steed resting on its stand,
prepared for Cape Town hills
and girlfriends wearing scarves.


Eric Braude grew up in South Africa and is currently a professor of computer science. He won the 27th annual Eagle-Tribune/Robert Frost Foundation Spring Poetry Contest and wrote the front matter poem for the anthology Songs from the Castle’s Remains. Braude’s poetry has previously appeared in Poetica, South Florida Poetry Journal, and Apple Valley Review, and his work is forthcoming in Constellations, I-70 Review, and J Journal.