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Skateboard Sonnet

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 is a poet, essayist, novelist, translator, and editor. He was a founding editor and publisher of Alcatraz, an international journal, and The Sun, a Santa Cruz weekly newspaper, among other independent publishing ventures. He has translated works by Neruda, Vallejo, Julio Cortázar Raymond Queneau, and Mahmoud Darwish, and his translations of the poet Luis Cernuda have received several awards, including a Lambda Literary Award for Written in Water: The Prose Poems of Luis Cernuda (City Lights, 2004) and the Harold Morton Landon Award for translation from the Academy of American Poets for Desolation of the Chimera (White Pine Press, 2009). Kessler lives in Santa Cruz and edits the quarterly literary newspaper The Redwood Coast Review. “Skateboard Sonnet” is from Scratch Pegasus, published by Swan Scythe Press in 2013.

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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 is a poet, essayist, novelist, translator, and editor. He was a founding editor and publisher of Alcatraz, an international journal, and The Sun, a Santa Cruz weekly newspaper, among other independent publishing ventures. He has translated works by Neruda, Vallejo, Julio Cortázar Raymond Queneau, and Mahmoud Darwish, and his translations of the poet Luis Cernuda have received several awards, including a Lambda Literary Award for Written in Water: The Prose Poems of Luis Cernuda (City Lights, 2004) and the Harold Morton Landon Award for translation from the Academy of American Poets for Desolation of the Chimera (White Pine Press, 2009). Kessler lives in Santa Cruz and edits the quarterly literary newspaper The Redwood Coast Review. “Skateboard Sonnet” is from Scratch Pegasus, published by Swan Scythe Press in 2013.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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