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I love entering a race with no chance of winning—

so easy to keep a smile on my face, to remember

I am doing this for the love of it, easy to focus

on the color of the sky, the cold scent of snow,

the thrill of the arms as they pump and release.

 

It’s the same reason I love going to high school plays

or middle school volleyball games or eating potato chips.

There’s a thrill, of course, in the best—but oh, the joy

of wearing a soft sweatshirt on a Saturday, of finding yourself

on the tenth kilometer of fifteen, grateful for five more k.

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“Sir”, says the volunteer,
“you need to stay on the trail.”
But Rumi, running in blue Adidas
continues to find his way down
through the boulder field and cliffs.
“There is a moving palace that floats in the air,”
Rumi shouts back toward the road,
“with balconies and clear water
flowing through, infinity everywhere.”
The volunteer shouts after him.
“But sir, these cliffs aren’t safe!”
Rumi laughs. “The anger of police is willfulness.
Now see the invisible.”
The volunteer shouts,
“But the rules!”
And Rumi becomes
a field of open sunlight,
a field of open sunlight
in blue Adidas shoes.
He is a river moving.
The volunteer doesn’t
know what to do.
He turns to tell the woman
beside him about
the whole strange thing,
then thinks the better of it,
and pours another cup of Gatorade.

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