cross-legged on the garage floor

in greasy pools from the Mini Cooper

she wets her breast

in imitation of an initiation

that she just made up

and won’t reveal her sources.

she twists sticks and gum leaves,

string and our classmates’ hair

fingering a pentacle with grease water

onto the cement.

a circle around us

tea light candles at each point

an emphasis on breasts – it’s very feminine, this whole thing.

she says the names of goddesses

that she just made up

rubbing greasy wet leaves

on my skin

bonus petrol smell

from the Mini her dad races.

he’s a large man

with small cars

his daughter likes the smell of petrol

and is initiating me

as a witch

in his garage







Jessica Alice is the co-director of the National Young Writers Festival and is the poetry editor for Scum. She co-presents the Kill Your Darlings podcast and produces Australia’s longest running women’s current affairs radio show, 3CR’s Women on the Line.

Image: Valerie Everett

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