Iowa Writes

AVA GRIPP
Angeles Crest


Through polluted air I studied her as we drove out of the city. The wind brushed past her face and she smiled, capricious and alone. Strands danced antonymous together and I laughed at their aimlessness as they created a knotted nest. They laughed back at me for staring. Without notice of all the new little birdies that tried to nuzzle in, she extended her arm and stretched her fingers against the breeze. Feeling the air around her, she watched it push her—and she pushed it back at a vinyasa beat. Quiet and subconscious, she found what she would call "her truth," and she would talk about it late at night to someone new whose eyes would glitter at her as she told it. Snickering, she would change it each time. In my car with raspberries under her jeans she closed her eyes, and tilted her head back slightly to the right. She smiled, alone again. Both lips curled up, but only her left dimple appeared. The whole body did not feel this separation between bliss and body. Everything was relaxed, then fast. States and months away, she released the pain driving through the mountains with me.

The speedometer gleamed 102 with the thermometer at 70 degrees. Zipping through cars, her heartbeat was loud. Emotion and adrenaline were enflamed within her. No unrest she felt on the drive back. She felt what she felt, and she felt it strongly. I only inquire—there was a feeling of freedom by release. To find one's piece within the fraudulent glow of the world. To have your heart broken and mended at the same knot, not by a god but by air. Even if the gods control the air and we control ourselves, there is still pain. He seemed to control himself until we rode on Highway One.

So even today—I watch her, in awe, as she closes her eyes nostalgic for that black leather-topped Pontiac and the love she found within herself and the new Old America.

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting iowa-writes@uiowa.edu


AVA GRIPP

Ava Gripp is a student at the University of Iowa, where she is working to add a Certificate of Literary Publishing to her Bachelor's Degree. Her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio has inspired many of the struggles that her characters face in her pieces. Short fiction is her primary focus, as she aspires to finish her first novel.

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