Wooden Board

O’ahu, Hawai’i

The shearwater turned its head to my green tank—

and I, frozen on my driveway, let it look and sing

then forgave it amid the thrum of Makakilo,

meaning “observing eyes,” which I had


From time to time, off the nose of my skateboard,

seen the girl across the street who never shaved

her arms or legs, never kissed me with passion,

as I remember it, but I was only seven after all.


I was so swollen; it was 1988. And brah, the shearwater’s

gaze gave me much to ponder over, even then. Haole

boy and her—Melissa (I think)—just across the street with

no hands, so humpbacks splash sad in Mamala Bay, like all of us.


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