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From the Skate Park in Front of the Church

by Bryn Watkins

Sam sits on a concrete pew, picking at the pigeon poop,
sometimes watching the skateboarders whose
whoosh, screech, skin-padded smacks
climb in baroque counterpoint
to the hymns clanging out of the church bell tower.
For the beauty of the earth, for the beauty of the skies,
sound waves knocking through and into the
long hair and baggy clothes and flat-brimmed baseball hats
that roll along the white-gray cement
with plastic noise.
They’re all—
up the walls, around and then over the ridges,
staccato interruptions picking crests
out of the single-volumed Sunday praise
blessing the air in Catholic
from the brick steeple across the street.
Sam turns around to me and gasps, squealing
How did he do that!
and one of the skateboarders, having feigned obliviousness,
shoots a smirk our way.
He is a flying priest
crossing us with his eyes,
the Father the Son the Holy Ghost
before tumbling onto his rubber soles
that ricochet softly off the small park’s shoulders
like sock feet on kitchen tile in the quiet middle of the night,
God careening onto the earth musically,
from His skateboard,
because the Sabbath is His day off.