my quad(ricep)s suffocate themselves screaming.

i’ve been biking uncompromising inclines with unreasonable weights: tuna fillets, salmon belly, broccoli, bananas, leeks — these are the heaviest things in my bag, and we’re not even talking about the lemons, 800gm eggs, and kiwi fruit.

but even if i’m not biking to Haymarket for groceries (4km by bike from home), every trip to school presents at least two hills (school is 2.5km from home).

at the top of one of these hills, is the Camperdown Memorial Park.

i couldn’t tell you if the trees there were tall or bald or if the grass were sparse or incessant.

but i could tell you about the dogs, their human friends, their toys and their tricks.

an old man, untethered from his wife and their grisly irish wolfhound, held his palm flat onto stony wall, removing a pebble or twig from his shoe—his sweater: red, grey, black, dots, stripes, triangles. chaos contained, in contrast to the graffiti under his hand.

on a bench, a lady with squat oval glasses on her cherry-apple cheekbones held her poodle on her generous lap. its fur was chocolate, and its tongue a shy coral.

at a bend to the path, another dog dug up dirt and peed onto the mound.

these scenes—of branches bitten and balls flung—are my bikers’ rewards.

on the downhill glide from the park, before the Newtown Police Station, a roadkill pigeon has been disintegrating for days.