We sat outside the coffee shop
next to a fire,
watching the sun set behind decrepit buildings.
I lamented over the lack of a roller rink in the area,
reflecting on memories of wobbling around in circles
with dizzying lights and blaring speakers
ejecting Pink, Daft Punk, and Eiffel 65 onto my critical youth.
I felt like a king.
We finished our smoothies and retreated
to an empty hotel parking lot,
where I taught her to skateboard.
One foot over the front bolts,
the back foot over two of the back bolts
but resting over the tail,
it's in the ***** of your feet--
Tic, tac, scrape, thud--
she falls repeatedly
and gets back up.
I admire her resilience and perpetual smile--
This is what skateboarding is all about.
We roll around the hotel parking lot,
our endpoints being a lone luminescent lamppost
and a telephone pole beleaguered by a plot of shrubbery
that demarcates itself from the pavement.
We circle around the poles for hours,
forming an imaginary oblong track between the two,
our laughs carrying into the cool summer night lullaby
that sang the drowsy small town to sleep.
The fading throb of the wedding reception
at the bottom of the town square by the wharf,
carrying over to us.
The stores closed up hours ago,
silent empty windows reflecting the lonely streetlights
and our ambulance back at us.
We skated on unperturbed into the night hour.
A man walks outside the hotel
to have a cigarette on the sidewalk--
I imagine he is watching us and admiring our glee.
Rolling between this telephone pole and lamppost,
the glare and reflection of the empty silent windows,
the soundtrack singing above our heads,
our laughs, and the tic-tac of skateboards
and groaning of wheels over stubborn pavement
bringing my melancholic reverie to a halt,
recognizing and understanding happiness in the present moment--
This is my roller rink.