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Skateboard Romance

Santa Cruz poet Stephen Kessler's ode to young love in this month's installment of 'Local Poets, Local Inspiration.'

By Stephen Kessler


A boy with a shaved head and a wiry girl,
black ponytail trailing, flash past the window
on this perfect May afternoon, Monterey
a purple outline across the bay, like the slope
of a thigh in profile, a reclining nude's
gift to the light in the spring sky, cut with streaks
of bird flight, overhead wires, car exhaust
and kids on skateboards powered by the grace
of their supple, muscular legs, sweet limbs later
to be entwined on a bed somewhere, at least
as I can see them through my own quick past.

It was on days like this, under such a sky,
my summer flowered without my knowing how
fleeting it was, like those kids who just whizzed by.

--Stephen Kessler

Stephen Kessler's most recent books include 'Burning Daylight' (poems), 'Desolation of the Chimera' by Luis Cernuda (translation) and 'Moving Targets: On Poets, Poetry & Translation' (essays). His edition of 'The Sonnets of Jorge Luis Borges' is due in April 2010 from Penguin.

Poet Robert Sward edits 'Local Poets, Local Inspiration,' which appears the first week of each month.

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