Route 7 Review - Page 9

our Tools: bigwheels, on which we rolled loudly, unashamed – locked plastic skidding in concrete spins bmx bikes on which we flew Evil-Kneival-like over rows of lying, trusting friends our only “off-roading” was across plots of lawn, around bushes, and occasionally over and across nefariously-placed containers of old milk we believed our concrete was better than any forest floor (of which we knew only from television) our sidewalks, carport-driveways, and clearly-defined curbed streets were secure, solid, unchanging, dependable (whether running on them, rolling along them, or face-planting into them) mornings would dusk: “Shut up you kids! We work at night! Sleep during the day!” - and we would run, silently, on reliable concrete adrenaline comforting us against our fears of those units, which claimed to contain humans behind curtains always closed nights would dawn: “Game on!” - basketball’s reliable rhythms called us to outdoor courts less-than-reliable lights, covering boys, teens, and soon-to-be-men as we escaped our confined corners dribbling rhythms of high-pitched pings a ball’s bouncing its air moving, contracting and slamming against the inside of a sphere from which it could not escape basketball’s reliable rhythms punctuated our nights drum-beats, drawing us out of “homes” we were happy to leave, so that we could jostle for the joy of all-net (when our hoops had nets) and the occasional praises of the almost-men whose voices we heard more than our own fath…(do not make us say this aloud) yet even the courts, whose lights guided our late-night layups, had dangers we did not see: the mysterious white powder in one boy’s palm “I stole it from my big sister. Smell it!” And the boys who sniffed the powder in the point-guard’s palm jumped and shouted for something other than three-pointers the trusting (the un-lucky) sniffed and bounced off the court and away from its promise of a better life summer mornings, we woke late and meandered zombie-like to our neighborhood pool chlorine cannonballs in overcrowded water