Spring 2024

Skate Shop

By Larry Narron

I call the boss to let him know
that business has been slow.
We sold a pair of Ishods,
I re-gripped an Element deck
for a grom who was probably
pushing mongo when he rolled
clueless as a scooter kid
through a smear of dogshit.

There were no other customers,
so we lazed through the afternoon,
watching Misled Youth again.
The kid hung around,

didn’t buy anything,
drooled over the Santa Cruz
skate wax & stickers so long
he missed most of Ellington’s part.

I tried telling him that no one
gets into skating for money,
that surgery is sure to come
with fame. If only you took
better care of your bearings,
I told him, they’d last
long enough for you to soak
in the dry, metallic frequency

of their second life.
He didn’t seem interested.
It’s not so easy for an old head
to advise a skate rat
to savor the short-lived strength
of their knees, to relish
the way a well-loved wheel
yellows & flat-spots.

Red Curb

No Quikrete or Bondo is needed,
only a steady hand to apply a glaze
of skate wax to make your fire
engine coat gleam once more.
Look how these pebbles
dig into my knees
as I crouch over you now
just as the streetlamps flick on.
The no skateboarding sign
on the custard shop window
looks to have seen better days.
The owner is probably
just getting ready for bed,
knowing I’m out here,
up to no good. It’s gnarly
to be the derelict again,
this time at forty,
to have to pretend to want to conceal
this tangle of shame & elation,
especially when caught
in the eyes of the drivers
slowing down
to witness the animal on all fours.

Larry Narron is a writer from San Diego County. His poems have appeared in Phoebe, Bayou, Hobart, Booth, and Berkeley Poetry Review, among others. They’ve been nominated for the Best of the Net and Best New Poets. Larry’s first chapbook, Wasted Afterlives, was published in 2020 by Main Street Rag. 

Spring 2024