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 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.