Kathleen’s ankle was swollen and throbbed when it didn’t ache. After the sticky day, she longed to float on a lake somewhere with cool water, cold at the deep bottom. She didn’t know, but she thought floating in the water would heal all aches.

Why would anyone think she should go to Texas? Did they even have lakes there? Did they have anything aside from half-witted governors with big ambitions, their lone star attitude, and oil rich ranchers with big ass hats? Why would someone born elsewhere sign on for that?

It was time to re-think the relationship with Cal, although the mere thought of that felt like a punch in the stomach. Looking at him made her dizzy, with his easy smile, the way his hair settled on his head, and the smell of him, like hot salty coco butter and sky. How could she not be with him? But Texas.

She leaned back in the creaky porch swing and looked across the field to where the moon was dangling. She wondered if it changed by state. What did it look like at the furthest dark point from this one. She wondered if it was red in Texas, a dripping red moon over a parched mouth with cracked lips gasping for water.