Hatchback Wayback

Someone’s idea, we count coins between class
and fang out the carpark in the little white car
Any Bloomies door will do; we do it all the time
Hand over our lunch money for a measly two-five

We’re all Havaiana thongs and Incubus songs
and an empty coke bottle for the new buddy bong
as we pinch some hose from a stranger’s lawn
(not the first time – it’s almost all gone!)

Now cruising out east to our usual meet
windows cranked low in the blistering heat
and park in the shade of some scraggly tree
there’s four of us here, four- including me

Emerging from pocket, we inspect the prize
I call “seconds” to secure the starting line
and pluck a cigarette for contribution to the mix
Fingers and scissors making light work of it

It’s way too hot; we strip down to our bras
and the mix is too green, I’m coughing hard
“so baked!” I choke, and oh how they laugh
just another sesh in the little white car

[Ah memory; knocks the breath from me
the passage of time, so very heavy
a little thing, now 20 years in the past
– how could 20 years go so damn fast!?]

Spot and Vine

A scratching marker
bled with black
your eyes upon the letter
my tongue against my teeth
the hand absent
the lines underneath


I am passenger, a reluctant navigator
perpetual forward motion
I count markers flickering by
like candles, long-extinguished
cake crumbs and sticky fingers
and under hopeful eyelids
I made a secret wish, of which
I can no longer recall
I was once so small
not so much anymore
as old bones protest; grind and crack
I turn to look back
wistful, regretful – and oftentimes forgetful
it begins to retreat from view
ahead, the next marker on approach
I count a four and I count an oh.

Calling Him Home

Down the line, a quiet, crackling, broken voice
A telephone held, knuckle-white,
“He was strong. Something was wrong.”
The details assaulting
Unprepared: my objection, too slow
“His head never dipped below.”
“He was, at all times, kept afloat.”
– which is assuring, I suppose.
Where a cursed imagination, had taken what was missing
and filled it with troubled fiction
which later re-read with such terrible conviction
the examining; the salt of the heart too heavy; a reality
I couldn’t fully grasp, just like his hand reaching, reaching,
whilst calmly speaking of this dark thing encroaching,
the final drop of the anchor, this thing he had loved like no other
impressing upon him, as it impresses upon me now –
the hot tears, the salt of my sea,
blocked so that I cannot breath
the physicality of the loss, presenting
in the weight of my eyelids, swollen as
I stood alone in the desert
and cried out an ocean.

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