Then I'll Take You Far Away out of Here
Jennifer Pieroni

We couldn't stay at the station, warm and asleep, like others who travel with no luggage. We were honest and we were pure like snow falling. And we must have been so filthy. A guard directed us to the shelter, which was not a place for us either. 

I kept my cash and knife sweating in my boots. He said to hold close everything I cared about--multiple meanings and great importance to anything he whispered. 

We held hands and took the icy steps. He talked with the girl at the front desk, not pretty; and I checked the flabby and anxious faces. People mismatched in ways I had never seen. 

The girl at the desk gave us pee tests. He took his first and I waited in a far corner of the room, my hat and mittens dripping on the tabletop, forming cold puddles I mopped with the oversized sleeve of my jacket. 

Sometimes it felt like he carried a wiry electric line with him and that I held the other end. Like we were the only relevant points on a map. A and B.

Jennifer Pieroni's stories have appeared in Hobart, Pank, The Collagist, FRiGG, Guernica and others. She edits Quick Fiction.

Detail of photo on main page courtesy of Loca Luna.

Read more of JP's work in the archive.

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