Last Lift of the Day

He laughs into the rear 
vision mirror when you ask 
his job. Tulips page past: 
yellow plastic, sunset, 
dried-blood red. And sakura: 
blooming late, worried 
under heavy pink. 
‘I’m a host,’ he says, 
lights a Lark cigarette, 
‘I entertain women 
at clubs.’ The car plunges 
into the tunnel, tiny lights fur 
the sides of your eyes, 
you splash into white. A swatch 
of pines crooks elbows 
at the sky, a striped spire sends 
clouds from a chemical factory. 
‘So what do the women want?’ you ask. 
‘To look, be touched, 
to touch.’ Blue smoke 
escapes the window gap, 
kawara roofs shine by; 
an old woman’s dragging 
gumboots through a flooded 
rice paddy at the foot 
of a giant dam. 
‘You wanna try?’ 

The Light Snow

Three days out from the Damages exam, 
he chased her up the law library steps. 
‘I know you!’ he called after the back 
of her dress. ‘Do you know Eric?’ 
‘Yes,’ she said, hugged 
her notes to her breasts. 
On Saturday they ate black bean beef, 
drank speights from big, brown bottles. 
She smiled at him all night, 
with black bean in her teeth. 
I’m Still Alive streamed out of 
Kelly-the-skateboarder’s window. 
The girl piled up cans of beer as she drank, 
& boy did she drink. 
He was stringing lights along a fence, 
laughing into his flatmate’s hair. 
She pretended to concentrate on the cans 
of speights growing around her, 
while blonde Jeremy smashed every single 
light bulb in the house with a stick. 


Johanna Aitchison is currently writing poetry and avoiding the sun in her hometown in the Bay of Islands. She’s had poetry published in SportLandfall and JAAM before but this is her first time in Turbine.