Friday, April 30, 2010


I followed the echoing voices and found the place
four teenagers, three boys and a girl, were skateboarding
in the august courtyard outside a bank, or an office-
block, the glass was too dark to tell. One skater fell
on his ass. Adam had taken our cash to look for food,
he’d return minutes later with salami and bread, cheese-
flavoured crisps, a cold fizzing bottle; I’d found a spot to sit.
I’m good at that. My cards didn’t work on the continent,
he doled out absurd IOUs, actual pocket money.
The kids hunkered in a bunch as one by one
they rumbled toward a staircase and by magic kicked

into silence, briefly, before the board skited off
on its lonely trajectory. Before recovering it
from the decorative bushes, hung low as if ready to ripen,
he shared a solemn high-five that cracked round the square,
holding on for a moment after the strike. I couldn’t read
his eyes. I couldn’t focus on the map I was pretending
to read. Then Adam returned with salami and bread
and I stung his hand with my own, he asked what for,
I almost said I loved him. We sat and ate,
a boy pushed off across the marble slates
and launched himself beyond what was under his control.