cornfield gothic aesthetic, because i fucking hate cornfields and i can’t escape, there is no escape, the corn, it grows;
dusty barns with half-rotted roofs and vines creeping up the side, JESUS SAVES and WILLSHIRE DIARY, JOHNSON & SON PRODUCE, EVERETT FARMS in peeling paint. flowers grow through the foundations and over rusted tools.
the corn rising over your head and waving in unison, the shhss of stalks, the sound of things growing. the cornfields ripple like water, and you don’t notice any wind.
the feeling of relief when it’s the off season and you’ve planted soy instead. soy only grows up to your shins; for once, you can see what’s out there.
clumps of forest in the middle of seas of corn. the woods are dark. you never go anywhere without a flashlight.
six ‘grandpa’s cheese barns’ between waterville and dayton; all six are run by the same old man who has too many teeth when he smiles. he is not your grandfather, and his cheeses taste like wine and hot metal.
ponds and streams and lakes filled up with thick green mats of algae, dotted with shining horseflies, dragonflies, tadpoles the size of your thumbnail. algae clings to the birds and to your ankles. you pretend not to notice the smell.
crosses made out of toothpicks and matches. your great aunt leaves them under your pillow, and you keep finding them in the fields.
that back half of trail you can’t convince your horse to go down. the last time you tried she threw you, and when you woke up on the ground, arranged neatly on the very edge of the corn, you could swear that something was holding your hand.
lights in the fields at three in the morning. ancient songs. strange patterns. “just old man peterson gettin’ an early start on the harvest,” you tell yourself, and go back to sleep.
corn mazes every october, colored flags, clues, your flashlight held tight in your fist. during the day you run through the maze with all your friends, trying to memorize the best way in and out. at night you fill your pockets with salt and walk through the maze slowly, eyes on the ground, careful not to piss anything off.
HELL IS REAL signs every hundred miles going down i-75. hell is real; mrs. bennett brews it in the still behind her shed and trades it for apples the size and color of fresh hearts.
the emptiness after the harvest, when the corn is gone and you’ve burned everything and the earth is black and clean underneath your feet. safe, you tell yourself, i am safe.
there is something that walks behind the cornrows. you give him your blood and your sweat and your reverence, and you do not look him in the eye.
I’M NOT EVEN MAD HE LOST IT DOESN’T MATTER IF HE WON OR LOST HE LITERALLY STAYED ALIVE 1:18 AND HE HAD LIKE 50 PEOPLE CHANTING “BOO SEUNGKWAN” THE NATION’S MC YOO JAESUK WAS PROBABLY CHANTING HIS NAME H O L Y S H I T AND EVERYONE LAUGHED AT HIS PRECIOUS “COME AT ME BRO” HE MADE THE CAST OF RUNNING MAN LAUGH HOLY SHIT BOO SEUNGKWAN