Because it was hot, even for June in Iowa, and because I don’t mind the smell of manure I rolled down all four windows in my old Jeep and stepped on the gas to pass a tractor.
I was seventeen and ugly, unsticking one thigh from my leather seat when I saw her next to me, and she stared me down for a mile through the slit in her gate,
eyes squinting in the sunlight. A little gold sprinkled over her nose. And I thought, maybe I should feel sad for this animal, maybe I should bust in and let her loose, but then she nodded her pretty caramel chin and blinked real slow, like she knew something I didn’t. Like she had seen enough summers not to care how this one would end. Wind whipped into her crate, rustled her ear hairs, and I thought, look at us, girl. Look at what we’ve got– this slick American road, a black ribbon draped over deep green hills, nothing but cornfields for miles, the young stalks bent ankle-high in the wind, and our hips heavy as loaded pistols– Do we even need to know where we’re going?
Anna Girgenti is a Chicago-based writer and artist. Her work has appeared in several journals, including Cider Press Review, Zone 3 Literary Journal, and Barnstorm Journal. The University of Iowa published her first chapbook, "Asking for Directions," in May 2018.