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Skates

I drove past the old
skate center today.

It’s been closed down
since we were children,
the door tagged with graffiti
and the parking lot
full of wet pot holes,

but I remember being ten
and begging
my parents to take me.

I never skated a day in my life.
Wheels on my feet have
always terrified me,
and I was good enough at falling
without a free pass for gravity.

I just went for the arcade,
a fistful of quarters jangling
in the pockets of my shorts,
for bad nachos and diet cokes,
and for you,

a gangly girl
with bandaids on her knees,
with red braids and braces,
pirouetting to pop music
on rented rollerskates.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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