Thirsty Girls

by | Apr 15, 2022 | Poetry

Our town has a two-year college where locals
can get an associate’s degree or rack up credits cheap
before making our escape because most of us can’t afford
the thought of Ivy Leagues. I’m taking classes
with my best friend Dawn. Our anthropology professor
is a young, bearded smokeshow with a wife and baby
and everyone knows he’s screwing the red head
who sits in the front row. He talks down to most of us,
but we drink him in anyway.

It’s Friday. Dawn and I skip PE
to drive around smoking skunky weed
in my rusted out Sunbird. At the liquor store,
the short brunette works the counter
so we can buy a couple wine coolers,
decide to splurge and ask for a fifth
of Canadian Mist from behind the counter.
We pet the shop’s bulldog on the way out
to cruise Porter Wagoner Boulevard,
creep through Sonic to look for cute boys
lounging on their tailgates like mulleted leopards.
We ask one where he’s from.
Koshkonong, he says. Spits tobacco.

We decide to hit the rich side, up on the hill
where houses have big yards and more than one floor
and we can think One day, maybe.
We round the first curve and there he is:
Professor Anthropology, mowing his lawn
shirtless. I let off the gas to take it slow,
admire the black shorts, messy ponytail,
every drop of sweat. We giggle low,
staring as if men like him are rare.

On the third pass, he notices us,
so we stare straight ahead and speed away
to find a dirt road where I can pull over,
wait the five seconds between turning off the engine
and the engine’s actual stop,
then sit on the trunk, drink our bottles empty,
wonder why we didn’t ask for more.

About The Author

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Sara Burge is the author of Apocalypse Ranch (C&R Press, 2010), and her poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming from Virginia Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, River Styx, New South, The American Journal of Poetry, Cimarron Review, MAYDAY Magazine, Court Green, Dos Passos Review, Poet Lore, The Los Angeles Review, and elsewhere. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and is the Poetry Editor of Moon City Review.



Books by Sara Burge