Iowa is For Lovers
Stop laughing sideways. Your teeth have yellowed from weeks of work. I just want to run my fingers on the outline of your foliage. I choose to walk among you because you smell like vanilla and I always liked angel food cake. The texture of your giggle in the stagnant breeze reminds me of the farmhouse on G50. I have four pounds on my ass from drowning you to death in butter. Did you know lobsters scream when they’re boiled? The salt shaker quivers. You’ve become dangerously cooked, my dear.
Your pantsuits don’t fool anyone. It’s not sophisticated the way your knees get dirty. Who told you escargot and Cabernet-Sauvignon-Syrah-Chiraz-Framboise are better than corn and wheat? No telegraph runs from New York to Iowa, how convenient for you. Wind in your face, sunlight up your nostrils, I’m sorry, but my horse is better than your sunroof.
Iron, nickel, and palladium: its smell is a pewter aphrodisiac. Seasoned with years of livestock, I stand before an organic trough. I tap my heels together three times and drink from the spigot. My arm has grown tired; but you taught me a long time ago to be ambidextrous in that old iron bed. Beneath the covers, reality lurked. How fruitful I felt to be your bucket.
I was fourteen the first time I rode a Tilt-A-Whirl; it was a cherry slushy and cotton candy kind of moment. You are the gangster of the rolling flatland, the way you tommy-gun the air. These plains are your gin joints. Triangles are my favorite shape. You’re the guts of the hipster’s peace sign and the y in my yellow dress. Ring around the rosy, pocket full of cozy dead birds. All fall down.
Imes Covered Bridge
What good is a leaning tower if it doesn’t support a tractor? The sign out front states, “Imes is the color of a prim tomato seeded in April.” The same color I turned the first time you pulled my panties to my ankles; open and exposed on one side, desperately rigid on the other. I wrote our names on the rotting two by four halfway down the corridor. The Sharpie said industrial, but will you still remember us? Anna was there before me and Jenny got engaged to Mike three years prior. Are they just cursive collections? Discursive rejections? Merciless interjections? Imes kinks its neck against the hometown gales and the katydids.
To hell with the communism of asphalt. Rocks jitter in the heat. I’ve scuffed my shoes as you laughed. Your smile careened down my femur into the dirt. When we were sixteen, I tripped on curds and whey, but I see the mirage in front of us now. An apparition of blood, skin and fascia from my left knee. It was always a matter of time until the combine passed. I was victim to the log we’d been balancing on.
Katie Fink lives in Waukesha, Wisconsin with her husband. She is returning to school to become an anesthesiologist assistant. Her work has previously appeared in Eunoia Review.