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.



Stock image from Dreamstime, by Arenacreative

(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.)