This is our last dance
our last chance for
      wooden roller rinks
the grandiose of lacquer
they don't make 'em
   like that anymore:
The floor rubbed raw with wheel scratch,
encased by psychedelic cornflower
   and neon apple carpet
   mushroom benches.
Where disco bubbles light
   the afternoon session,
   and a tilted slush cup is a flag
   of rotating red white and blue
for the sweet of cough syrup
   without medicine
and soft beads of snow.
Where the rules of the hokey pokey
      are rigid:
   you must shake your elbow
up and down cool in 90 degrees,
while turning yourself around in a spin
   right heel up left toe down.
Where you shoot the duck,
fly in a ball the length of the rink
   with your leg stretched out.
When $3 spices your Saturday
with scratchy corn chips
and waxy goopy cheese -or-
electric orange popcorn
in a serated bag clown striped
with P-O-P-C-O-R-N is F-U-N;
1 game of Donkey Kong;
2 games of Ms. Pacman
(two because she has a pink bow).
The dilemma of the final .25 cents
   at 3:30; choosing
between a Watchamacallit, a peanut rice
crispy milk chocolate WHAT?!?!
or a chance at a plastic squirt ring
from the toy dispenser that hides in the corner.
At 4pm Donna Summer croons
   This is your last dance
   Your last chance
before the floor darkens
and mom waits outside.



Nicole Henares a native of the Monterey Peninsula, antique carousals and roller skating rinks, currently lives in San Francisco with two cats and one husband. Henares has published two chapbooks of poems; Lush and Duende.