When the woman at the party brings up her episiotomy while starting a slideshow on her phone of an infant, the girl consults her compass of context and determines that this conversation is turning medically messy. The girl already knows the map of this dialogue because the girl has no children, and the woman won’t believe the girl wouldn't try to have some. “You're still young; You’ll change your mind.” The girl says she has to use the bathroom. It’s an excuse. It’s an exit ramp, but she has to change lanes to avoid the preacher who'd already asked her, “So, do you work outside the home?” The girl wonders if she could discuss religion if she moved North. She remembers something from World History about Catholics living in northern areas whereas Protestants predominate the South in more than one country. Even so this assumes that these questions of gender and faith would change just because of geography. She tries to imagine what it would be like to travel down the middle of some other script, to follow some other legend.

JESSIE CARTY is the author of seven poetry collections, including the chapbook An Amateur Marriage (Finishing Line, 2012), a finalist for the 2011 Robert Watson Prize. Her latest full-length collection is Practicing Disaster (Aldrich Press, 2014). She is a freelance writer, teacher, and editor who can be found at jessiecarty.tumblr.com.