Ode to the L90

4 May 2016

Seaforth
Where Meredith’s cousin
Stephanie-Jane stabbed a man
to death on his front lawn,

and got as far as Gosford
in a midnight-blue
Toyota Camry.

She accumulated mass
in prison, and read scripture.

Warringah Mall
Where I bought my first
skin-tight pair of Levi’s
(low-rise, bootleg-cut).

Manly
Where I went to school and
learned to swim and
how to flirt and
how to make a bong
out of an apple.

Where I came across
a couple making love
on the esplanade, as I
walked home alone, one
very early morning.

Where childhood
and adolescence
were birthed and drowned,
and between rounds

at the pub, I found
that being a woman
means learning to comfort
sad men.

Dee Why
Where, at the RSL, the day
I graduated high school, my
Economics teacher told me

his girlfriend had hepatitis
and her piss was the colour

of rust. He asked if I was single
and ran a cool, snake hand
up the length of my leg.

Collaroy
Where I kissed
Shona’s boyfriend
in her backyard, one
February night

—or, he kissed me,
and I let him. I worried
about hurting
his feelings.

Narrabeen
Is crawling with ghosts.

Mona Vale
Where Jesse was king-hit so
hard outside the pub one
lazy Sunday, his teeth sprayed
across the bitumen

like stars falling
against the night sky.

Bilgola Beach
Where the streets are
serpentine, and the air is
salt. I keep having
that dream where cars
pass me walking
on the road at night.

Avalon
Where, down by the water,
by the yachts moored on the
bay, I once made love

to a Japanese man
on a trampoline
by starlight.

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