how google maps treats women (Anna Dempsey)

go down the dim alley 

crawl on hands and knees under the bushes 

shout that you are not wearing running shoes

wade into the swamp and head south

take a left at the white van

in 300 feet enter the park that closed at dusk

cut through three private gardens 

take four rights

cross over the bridge

no, not that bridge

the one with a streetlight erratically blinking

remove your shoes 

walk backwards

you are now 27 minutes from your destination

your phone is at 3%

you’re welcome for getting you this far 


Anna Dempsey is an American-born writer and teacher based in London. She is currently working towards a PhD in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. She won the 2019 Costa Short Story Award and has been published by Dear Damsels, Litro, Popshot and Ellipsis Zine. 


image: MM Kaufman