Saturday Night Live

by Luke Otley

Performance cars lie low like fugitives
under the gas station’s arching arm
rumbling, out the corner of their blue blinkers
they eye speed-bumps, anxious,
thoughts of belly scrapes, of clanked exhausts,
driver’s roar round when they can, safe
and smiling from bumper grinds,
seems-cheap plastic survives unsnapped
this time. Parked and proud
girls flock around in skirts,
legs, one heel raised, toeing dog ends
into tarmac, faces painted
expectedly imperfect,
a little thick in the lurid light.

The drivers grumble out of window slots,
finger their rainbow radios nervously, boys
of seventeen with weekly haircuts
and cleanly shaved faces
lightly pimpled, worriedly squeezed
in mother’s bedroom mirror
by bitten back nails,
metallic toothpaste tang clashing
against the coarse chemical pull
of the Malboros winced back
impressively, and over everything
the over-arching
youthful feeling
that anything
can happen.