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I ducked off the trail, legs burning, needing a rest. I was all huffy-puffy after my trip through the forest, and entering the fields was like being born again.

A little path, leading nowhere. My favorite kind. I ditched my bike and walked for a bit into the corn field, feeling the sun on the back of my head. I kept going until I was hidden, until I could lie, sprawled on the hard dry dirt, mouth open and breathing like a fool. People could have sex out here and fit in completely.

I felt the insects crawl over my legs, under my arms, around my feet - I didn't care. When I heard the birds sqwawking as they flew by it startled me, reminding me of my adventure less than an hour earlier when I ended up sprinting from a flock of angry sparrows after I invaded their territory. I was only trying to get a picture....they were ruthless! As I fled the scene I even thought of changing my user name, but then smiled as I considered what I would do if someone big and clunky invaded my territory. Silly little devils. :)

Back to the corn. I sat up and traced my name in the dirt. There. At least I still exist somewhere. I watched a group of ants dismantle a fallen chunk of something bready - they strained under the weight but kept going, even stopping to help each other over pebbles and leaves. Slow. Beautiful. A tiny poem.

I was just thinking of peeling off my shirt when a big shiny clunking truck burst over the hill in front of me. I froze - a deer in the headlights. Would they shoot me? Pull out a rifle and pick me off like a squirrel? Leave my body for the corn weevils? Now I know how those birds felt when I stumbled upon them. Invaded. Irrational.

I jumped on my bike and flew out of there. I don't think they even noticed me, or if they did, even cared. My heart thumped, making me giggle despite my fear. An adventure.

We drove into the thick darkness on a backwoods nowhere road, and Sarah kept worrying about running out of gas while I kept the Jack Daniel's under the dashboard and talked about people who had hurt me.

Feeling picturesque and warm and brave. Funny how alcohol cheerfully enforces melancholy.

Sarah, do you remember?

We stopped in a little dark churchyard and collapsed on the grass. I felt dizzy and loose, and nodded while you told me about your tough love; your life full of subtle abuse that made me ashamed. Your quiet, sensible estimation of pain. Concealed in a shrug, the flick of a wet eye.

There was a cornfield in the distance, beyond the church graveyard. You stood up suddenly, and said you would be back in a minute, so I handed you the bottle for fortitude.

And watched you recede, picking your way gently over the dead. You stood waist high in the dark gold moonlit corn stalks and raised your arms above your head.

I can still picture your small figure and the rustling of the wind in the field...or were you laughing?

I wanted to run over and kiss you, breathless in that moment, but I had given up on women and I knew you wouldn't understand.

I wonder if you knew the force of that impression. It's so haphazard, what burns us beyond recognition, what leaves us untouched.

On my way home I stopped in Francesville, well, because. Plus my back was sore, not that much driving I suppose but sometimes my body gives up faster than it should. In the absence of a sofa or the soothing voice of tv I walked along a graveled ditch, my car left in an empty lot next to the sign. Welcome to Francesville. It's a Friendly Town.

Too much thought for me, brain not numbed by the road like I'd hoped. Will they get married and will I mind.   I veered into the cornfield for the fireflies. They swam lazy around my feet, on and off, little green ciphers I couldn't read.

It had rained and the cornstalks were cold and slick with it. Careful. Dry leaves can cut like the thinnest blade, wet ones are worse. If you move slow enough you will be safe. I stepped forward into the tall deep green. Over my head, too tall for this early, they'll have to get harvesting soon.

Far enough in, there isn't a road anymore, isn't a graveled ditch, isn't my car. All I am left with is clouded spookyblue sky, green flashers floating, and wind enough to shish the corn like dry fingers in silence. Far enough in, lost in a farmjungle, I am not my achy back or my countdown of miles left to travel, I am left here alone, to enjoy it.

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