We were the kids who hung shoes from power lines,
left them doubled in their swaying doom
to mark each steal. One of us worked the ignition
the other tossed twisting shoes at the deadpan sky
until they garrotted a line. As they swung
we eased into traffic, just another ducoed dream.
On the day he died we drove stolen cars
through the suburbs, spray cans knocking like eggs
in a swaying nest. I melted the dash and flicked
matches through the window.
From Parra Rd to Blacktown, our sweat mixed,
all desperate, with the stink of scorched plastic;
and we sprayed mourning consonants on every
archway we found. Cops Killed Tsakos
And dash lights were our campfire, and in the fretful
lustre we might’ve been mistaken for men.
We gnawed on our tongues, smoked with acetone fingers
and we knew a stolen car was intent to murder,
to run. A weapon is what cops said; enough
for bullets through a windscreen.
Cops Killed Tsakos
At the funeral his mum howled her dark haired
Greek rage. No one held her back, she ripped
the priest’s cross off and threw herself
at the coffin. I can’t go see her, no one visits
her now; when I’m home I drive past and imagine
her behind curtains condemning the TV
like a cursed queen. All she wanted was good boys,
like good boys could take him out of that car.
Cops Killed Tsakos
Tonight we’ve found a column shift; bench seat
relic from the empty streets of Granville. Something big
enough to hold us all, with air enough
for memories to breathe. It’s rare. And we burn
the old roads, searching for the words we sprayed
on underpass vaulting. Artless, black memorials.
And the night is full of letters fading, briefly
in our headlights. Cops Killed Tsakos
Soon we’ll give up, drive to the BP near the corner
of Victoria and James Ruse; where they do the kebabs
Angelo liked. And we’ll lean on the car, and listen
to traffic, and watch the safety lights spit insects,
and we’ll feed his ghost.
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