The Downtown Skateboarder’s Prayer
13 June 2020

Who knows the miles this deck has seen?
The length and breadth of the downtown core,
its sidewalks and streets, cambers and crevices
are as but water beneath a small ship’s bow.

Atop its begripped back I’ve sounded out
the surfaces of this cities’ roads,
like they were some secret language
paved in a braille only skaters can decode.

My feet know well the contours and edge,
and the quirks of its unique dimension.
For we pick our skateboards as we choose lovers,
according to specific predilections.

Why should I worry about what comes next?
I’ll take oblivion if that’s on offer.
But if it is, as it was said,
those distant Sundays when I was small,

let it be a vein of fresh-laid cement
running through an endless wood on a shallow grade.
Let there be creatures amongst those trees,
and may they be curious, not afraid.

When I lay me down for the last goodbye.
Let my tibia and fibula be a-hum from a recent ride.
And have these streets still echo with the rattle and roll
of truck and wheel, bearing and bolt.

The wonderful cacophony
that heralded my passage through
and made neighborhood dogs prick up their ears
while the elderly furrowed their brows in mild rebuke.