When we first met,
I said, “I’m not too good at skating forward.”
On metal trucks, hot enough to burn the sun,
I like to think we scratched pavement
harder and faster than we could run.
Sometimes we swang on park rivers,
watching salmon run deep like mosquitos
making dinner on our backs.
My toes stang, all smushed in white leather,
and you peeled rubber off the wheels,
made them black,
‘cause there was nothing left
when you were done with me.
With knee-pads, cherry-red funny-bones,
lips more chapped than snowfall in summer,
you taught me that rolling up the hilliest roads
doesn’t hurt quite as much,
as circling backwards
for the world to see.