BILL MAINLAND NELSON grew up in a seaside town in South Auckland and now studies Creative Writing at Whitireia Polytechnic in Porirua. He lives with his partner on the side of a hill in Wellington where he writes and works part-time in the electronics industry.

*   *   *

       Road trip up North

       When you point out dirt on a bank
       it’s blemish and beauty, I agree with

       the bits-in-between. Your glare in the mirror
       the speckle and hue, your resemblances to rain.

       You shimmer in each rut of the road
       an empty rest where a settled head should be.

       It is dark where my car does not want; resists with you driving.
       Gripping the wheel, staking your claim with the stick:
       this is a vehicle, a method of progression.

       *

       I compare my skin with yours
       looking for a point

       at which I might enter and if need be
       exit, a mile-marker that says halfway there.

       This is a no such place, but you already knew that
       your head out the window
       the din of stones battering mudguards.