We stood there, the three of us, Tom, Mark, and I,
pressed against the chain link fence at turn one of the oval dirt track.
The smell of castor bean oil hung in the air
as the racers slid into the turn, their steel shoes sparking.
The motorcycles' wheels threw bits of pea gravel off the dirt track;
the track shrapnel stung where it hit.

Tom shoved his right shoulder hard into the fence,
caving it in toward the track so when we all leaned,
we could see the racers coming around turn four
into the front straightaway. His foot was against my shin.
My fingers, curled tight around the fence, collided gently with Mark's arm.

I could almost see a chalk line drawn around us, the bodies,
an accident roped off with yellow plastic tape.

After the heat race, we turned around and leaned our backs against the sagging fence.
A vendor was selling cinnamon buns and people were strolling by,
drinking cheap beer from big red plastic cups.
A tiny kid with a few scraggly hairs in a rattail at the nape of his neck struggled to keep up.
His black tank top was a miniature of his dad's; his shoulder was tattooed.

"That's sick," Tom said, looking straight out at the milling crowd.
"People who do that to their kids should be shot."


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