Streetwalker, Athens, January 2016

Published by Rat’s Ass Review

—Five minutes of chin cupped
in my crocus palms on the balcony rail
I notice her, a hooker shrouded in night
lancing up the kerb till the next stream
of headlights bears down on her in the
eight-lane Athenian after-dark Nascar.

—She darts directly into them, lit in slices,
flashing her stockings, breasts, swinging
her handbag into the variety of slipstreams.

—You reckon she’s on coke but she’s 75
yards away from room 308 and the neon
glare from the gas station forecourt falls well
short of her; we’ve not the faintest how she looks.

—From nothing you prize your mouth
into an O to let a two-finger whistle fly
out into the sea breeze. Fancy
a threesome? you whisper.

—She hears your second blast,
looks vaguely up and around
till she takes us into her focus.

—From what we discern of the walker
in the gloom she’ll note
we are a couple on a hotel balcony,
draw some ready conclusions.

—Starting towards us in the ill-lit darkness
she’s stealthily overtaken,
hemmed in slowly
by a black saloon
whose emergency lights
wink like auction-room bidders; it’s unclear
whether the car’s turning in for fuel.

—Petrol or pussy? Petrol or pussy? Pussy, you say.

—The nearside window lowers
into a brief exchange of necessary details.

—She backs away, finds us again, nods definitively
before opening the door and disappearing
into the rear seats.

—The driver pulls into the side street,
rolls out of view to park
his cargo in an empty bay at the beach.

—Radio has the best pictures, so, once
-in-a-blue-moon does sex, as in this
temperate winter’s midnight on the Aegean coast:

—you and I discussing what would have been a first,
the likely costs incurred, the twisting and shaping
of possibilities, the dos and don’ts.

—Fevered in chat,
we illuminate an unforgettable lost hour.