Sketchbook, Southbank, 2013 © Thomas Hogan
Lawrence Schimel, Skating Beauty
Like the uninvited
thirteenth fairy at the christening,
I am standing just outside
the place where they’re skating
and I want to curse them
for my not being a part
of such easy youthful
Forget the prick of a finger
on a spinning wheel’s needle,
let them crush their hands
beneath the spinning wheels
of their skateboards!
But I want more than just
belonging; it is you I crave:
a beauty that could exist
only in fairy tale,
where magic or alchemy
transforms a catalogue of parts–
eyes, lips, lithe torso that twists
just so at the waist–into something
wondrous and unique, delicate and fierce,
hovering on that threshold
between boyhood and manhood.
Almost shy when on the ground,
unaware of your own desirability,
your board, tucked under your arm
like a shield, blocks the view of your
naked torso as you constantly shift
position, less nervousness than
restless excess of energy.
Then you mount your board.
Everything changes: you are
a modern-day centaur, board and boy
a single being whose grace
and almost preternatural calm
draws the attention of every eye.
Suddenly you launch into the air
legs bent at the knees. You soar,
your board flying up beneath you
and time stops
…………………………..for a hundred years
with you suspended in this moment
and only a kiss from me
could make it start again.
© Lawrence Schimel.
Lawrence Schimel was born in New York and lives in Madrid where he is a Spanish-English translator. His most recent poetry collection is DELETED NAMES (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2013).