Poor, lustful, cars mostly stolen, we take any chance
to cruise beyond our ghetto, eyes for crime or
romance we call scoring, t-shirts tight, tattooed.
Underage in the back, in my place, I spot two girls.
We brake, they get in, I get lucky,
one in my lap, the girl-less driver agog,
his illiterate mate upfront too slow for logistics.
My tarnished angel said she chose me at a glance.
Stunned by luck, an abstract multiply attributed
in street rat days, I advanced to carnal sweetness,
one way to beat back a seething past, to forget.
In my mean room hot thighs wrapped my ribs.
Her friend shared a mattress beneath our high bed,
my backseat mate in the friend’s arms.
Now Google Earth transports me in vivid close-up
to our sanctuary, street number unchanged,
neighbourhood roofline updated with skylights.
A time machine view through that yellowed window,
stained glass to me; shadowy, an old story. See?
She straddles the boy, charm necklace jumping in joy,
holds it in her mouth, bites down in rapture.
—Ian C Smith’s work has appeared in Antipodes, Australian Book Review, Australian Poetry Journal, and other publications. His seventh book is wonder sadness madness joy, Ginninderra (Port Adelaide). He lives in the Gippsland Lakes area of Victoria, Australia.