Flash Fiction 55 version (revised):
Stars light the Iowa canopy with possibility. The granary is blue sadness, but the thriving wildflowers bloom pink. Where else do farm wives go to be alone, except to forgotten and fallen-down places? Kisses, wet and furtive, we ache. Still, we return home to husbands.
Original version (revised):
Hundreds of stars light up the Iowa canopy with possibility. Surrounded by fallow fields, the dilapidated granary is dark-blue sadness, but the wildflowers, thriving in the late summer heat, bloom in pinks and gold.
Girl’s night out was rowdy at the bar. The two of us danced with local men, who could have been our cousins or our cousins’ cousins, and some were, but no one cares. Not when the beer is cheap and the men are buying and the band’s playing Cash and King.
We laughed all the way to the parking lot, but as I turned the car to head towards your house, you opened the window and said quietly, “I don’t want to go home.”
I thought you were joking. I asked, “Where you want go, darlin’? Paris? New York? Hollywood?”
You stared out the window at the wheat fields grown tall and ready to cut. “I don’t care. Just drive.”
So, I drove the dirt tracks to the granary. Where else do two farm wives go to be alone, except to those forgotten and fallen-down places?
Now, you’re crying, maybe from too much beer and dancing. Still, those tears fall one at time until they’re streaming down your cheeks.
“What’s wrong?” I ask, but you don’t answer.
I lean in, take your hand and smooth your hair with my palm.
“Are the kids okay, hon’?” I ask, and you nod your head. “How ‘bout your mother? How’s she doing?” You just keep crying.
“Is it Nathan?” I ask carefully. I push back a strand of your hair and tuck it behind your ear. You only cry harder, but you’re shaking your head.
I open the glove box, find some tissues, and hand them to you.
“It’s me,” you finally say, and you cry as if your heart is broken.
“Oh, hon’.” I lean-in to smooth your hair again and to look you in the eyes, and you lean-in too and kiss me, your wet lips parted slightly.
You’re so tender, your lips soft, unlike any lips I’ve ever kissed. You open your mouth, your hands suddenly frame my face, and you’re pulling me towards you until I feel myself falling into that open space, my heart pounding some strange, new rhythm.
You slowly pull away. So, I pull away too.
“See,” you say, as if something is quite apparent. “It’s me.”
“And me?” I ask.
We’re both silent then, as if everything has already been said.
“It’s late,” you finally say. “Nathan’s going to be worried.”
“Yes,” I reply. There’s a terrible ache in my throat, but I refuse to cry.
I turn on the ignition, reverse the car and head back down the two-tracks—away from the blue granary and the pink wildflowers, away from all those hundreds of stars in the sky.
© Ami Mattison
Photo courtesy of Sean McCormick
For One Stop Poetry's Picture Prompt Challenge