Teenage Riot and Other Poems

Teenage Riot

All of us were boys only some were taller or already in high school, and almost nothing else

mattered but to learn some new trick,

to pull off something we saw in a skate video, wind cutting

around our bodies when we flew

off the lip of a ramp, grabbed the board and twisted

into a 180, kicking

a leg out and landing it, the only way to run

through the neighborhood

was to run through it

together, flipping off cops and skinheads, I almost

don’t even remember girls but a vague sense of the taste of bubble gum

and how they smelled so different

from us, sitting in some kid’s basement drinking

his parents’ vodka, we grew out our bangs, moved in a pack,

jumped in when some one of us

got jumped,

so when a man we had never seen before

came up and started beating on Simon, one of us dropped his skateboard, walked over to the man

like someone walking into a bank

and stabbed him.

The man, startled, sat down, right there on the asphalt,

right in the middle of his new consciousness,

kind of looking around.
People on couch
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