by Eddie Krzeminski
Ode to My Alva '77
Hundreds if not thousands of miles
on the old skid deck, brush logo'd griptape,
colored like a west coast sunrise.
Bennett trucks, Abec 60m RetroGliders,
Khiro risers, Rockin Ron's between the axle nuts,
fastest money can buy, Big Jim at the old
Sanctuary skate shop swore.
I learned to front carve, to lay my ass
flat & skid, frontside or backside,
glide my hand across the split asphalt
for control, gashing through ma's
gardening gloves, afterwards
sitting on my board in the muggy
Florida night sucking blood from my palms.
Fucker still rides, still rolls smooth,
still kicks when I do the kicking.
I take her for a spin around the block
past old spots, back when the neighborhood
was the farthest the earth's fingers could reach,
the world so small I could have ridden it
to its end on four urethane wheels.
The checkout line at the four-pump Chevron on West Dixie
snakes into the parking lot. An LED sign in the window
taunts us, flashing the jackpot like a blackjack dealer
doling out busts. I'm here for $10 worth of gas, standing
among wannabe winners chatting about all that fast cash:
the glitz and gravy of sports cars and weekend getaways
and finally telling their bosses where to shove it.
I know the odds of pulling the lucky numbers
are about as low as the earth opening up from a fault line
and swallowing us whole right here in clear-skied Miami.
Still, I can't blame you, America, for dreaming.
That's what I love about you.
Soon even the driver from the tanker truck joins us
and the line parades all the way to the roadway.
At the register I spend $8 on gas, dump what's left on a ticket,
and walk out carrying my own sliver of the dream.
Eddie Krzeminski is an MFA candidate at Florida International University where he is the poetry editor for Gulf Stream magazine. His work has recently appeared in Gravel, Origins, and Small Orange. In his spare time he reads, writes, and plays bass.