This is before the bruise, the eventual scar,
before two days of watching the swelling
darken, before wondering if it was enough
to fracture bone. No, this is metal and wood
and you over a valley, concrete ravine
waiting to swallow your next landing.
It doesn’t care what you do in the air.
We are a different story. 180s, back-
and front-side, nose grab over an eight-stair,
the varial you can almost land again and
again. Still trying. Why just pivot
when you can pivot fakie – 360 that trick,
add a kickflip. Nobody wants to
talk about balance, much less you and I,
a double grab off our favourite ramp
the closest we come to compromise.
No wonder we grind towards pain, when it’s
not even an afterthought, eclipsed by hang
time and a heartbeat lighter than air.
One one thousand,
two one thousand, keep counting,
eight steps can feel like a mile.
(S-K-A-T-E refers to an informal game sometimes played by skateboarders. Players take turns executing and replicating tricks to earn points or ‘letters’ in the word SKATE.)