Window Vent

By Lynne Barrett

October 8, 2018

Window Vent

You take me for a ride in a sixties Oldsmobile. The radio doesn't work and you had to put additive in the gas, but once we're rolling along a back road I finger the silver latch, open the vent, and the wind still waits there, eager to lick our sweat and tangle our hair and make us squint. I open my mouth to catch the breath of August. When we were young we used our muscles to crank and steer; we were manual, not automatic. That’s how we loved each other, too, with awkward effort, sharing Chiclet sweetened saliva, the geometry problems of hooks and eyes and zippers, and then the shakiness after, the sweat and shyness, sitting in itchy clothes eating ice cream cones that dripped, licking our fingers. Now, at a hill’s crest, the engine hesitates, then surges, and you gun it with a grin, and we lean so the louvered air pummels us, the way it used to when we had no idea where we were going.

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