midwest gothic II; or: why are gas station bathrooms so iconic to me
the eyes on that sex shop billboard remind you of 2005 vampire stories on quizilla - so bright, so blue, so bright, the brightest color for miles in the muggy spring air, and they watch your car as you drive past.
four dilapidated houses around a chestnut horse who grazes alone.
(two miles down the road there’s a red brick mansion. two miles down the road there’s an abandoned barn.)
never mind that one in twenty leave - you’ve resigned yourself to existence here in this town this house this life. it’s your best friend that you worry about, the far-off look in his eyes, the light, the passion. you hate yourself for wanting him to stay. (you cannot be alone here like your mother and her mother and her mother)
as a child you wouldn’t swing too high - whispers around town talk about the little girl who swung over the bar and came back down inside out. it’s just a scary story, your mother says while she holds you, shaking in her arms, but you think she’s trembling, too.
don’t breathe in when you pass the graveyards. ghosts float in the air there, waiting to inhabit your lungs. it only takes one breath.
there are chlldish smiley faces scratched into the beige paint in the gas station bathroom. white, flaky eyes follow you as you wash your hands.