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Couple's Skate Apocalypse
Laura E. Davis


What if life ended with middle school—
all hormones & desperation, seeking
sanctuary at the roller rink & waiting
together for a our collective doomsday
where the main activities include checking
your makeup in the CoverGirl™ compact
you keep in your back pocket like a badass
because someone said it looks like birth
control; wondering what kind of contraption
birth control might be; circling with Kim,
Aubrey, Jessica, Stacy while you whisper
about the girls in the next group, gossipping
about their dirty hair & how their noses
are extra-pointy; wondering whether an
extra-pointy nose is a good thing or not;
watching the boys whiz past, skating into
each other like awkward buffalo; wanting  
to talk about the boys; pretending you don’t
want to talk about the boys; double checking
your makeup; going to the snack bar for nachos
that you share with Stacy; skating in a pack,
always; singing along when Mariah belts,
Dreamlover, come rescue me; worrying
when the DJ plays the Spin Doctors because
that’s too many fast songs in a row & you’re
sure the next will be slow one; deciding
to sit this one out so you won’t get caught
alone on the rink like at Aubrey’s 13th birthday
party because Justin Mitchell asked her to skate
even though you let him feel your almost-breasts
during study hall in the library the week before;
your friends calling you back to the rink; giving
in; spinning your new body around the rink
because you’re circling all of these big things
like womanhood or belonging or whether God
is real; just skating & circling like this;
laughing, dizzy as you long for the brief
silence between the fast & slow songs?

Laura E. Davis is the author of Braiding the Storm (Finishing Line, 2012). Her poems have appeared in Tinderbox, Pedestal Magazine, and Corium, among others, and anthologized in Bared and The Doll Collection. Laura is a freelance writer in San Francisco, where she lives with her partner and son.