mirror dice
We Learn to Drive Together
by Nina Bannett

No-man’s land,
a road show,
hybrid terrain,
traipsing through
our same start,
our same teacher.
I drove you
the wrong way,
one-way recognition,
unfamiliar street pattern.
You laughed like a crowd,
the wheel responded.
I finish my training first.
I am ahead of you.
Not simultaneous.
Not conjoined. Unfamiliar pattern.
Invincible. Licensed.
Logic with a lion’s bite we both foreswear.
Fuel for fury like circus music.

PHOTO: “Mirror Dice” by Ordinary Light, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: In “We Learn To Drive Together” I was thinking about the exhilaration, wonder, and fear that new drivers bring with them to the road. I took driving lessons in my late teens, at the same time as a close friend, and I received my license before she did. One night shortly after that, we were in the car together, and I found myself driving the wrong way down a one-way street in a neighborhood I knew nothing about. Terror quickly turned to laughter: we had spread our wings but weren’t sure what that meant, or how it would change our friendship.


Nina Bannett
’s poetry has appeared in journals such as Open Minds QuarterlyBellevue Literary Review and CALYX.  Her chapbook Lithium Witness was published by Finishing Line Press in 2011.  Her first full-length collection of poems, These Acts of Water, was published in 2015 by ELJ Publications. She is an associate professor of English and department chairperson at New York City College of Technology, CUNY.