We drove out past the lights, the houses, the roads with more than two lanes, and found a place where there was a split-rail fence and enough room to pull off. We sat on adjacent posts and smoked endless cigarettes, passed a bottle of Kentucky Gentleman between us. There wasn’t much of a moon, and enough cloud cover so we didn’t see much of what there was. And there we waited, the first hour, then the next, quiet save the occasional lighter strike. Then, there it was. We both stopped at the same time. “Do you smell it?” she asked, and I did. A little leather, a little gooseberry, and just enough shit as if your dog had trod in it a week ago and only noticed when it started to rain. I looked around to see if I could figure the source, but I was never too good at directions. She dropped to the ground in a crouch, almost silent, but the leather of her jacket creaked as her arm curled around the top of the post, and in that instant, it was gone. I hopped down myself. “Not our night, I guess,” I said. “No problem,” she answered. “Just wait till you find out how much fun it is to peel and devein one.” We stumbled over and pulled the sleeping bags out of the hatchback, hunkered down to sleep it off.
Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Page and Spine, The Pointed Circle, and Failed Haiku, among others.