• Tealight Press

HELL IS REAL by Kelsey Brown


Two hours of podcasts

meets Moses’ wandering

through the desert and I watch

my life disappear into the

shaking reflection of my

rearview mirror. Potholes in the

road are minor nuisances at best

and metaphors at worst,

carrying me along the same two-

lane highway that has “home”

on one end and home on the

other. I shake my head at people

who pass me on the left, ask

them why they’re in such a

hurry to get to the next soybean

field. This road never ends. All

there is is another soybean field.

Though sometimes it’s corn, I

suppose. The only sign of

civilization between “home”

and home is the outlet mall, built

in 2016 and visited by my

mother every year since. Signs

of life include, but are not

limited to: stretches of land that

are clearly farms even though I

have never seen man nor

machine working there,

billboards that advertise

painfully midwestern ideology

(sex, God, and burgers), and a

collection of orange

construction cones with no

active construction equipment. I

ask myself if I am really worthy

of living in this space between

realms, where I can forget about

the metaphors on either end

and breathe in the scent of an

unending road that grows

shorter every time I try to drive home.

Kelsey Brown graduated from Otterbein University with a BA in Creative Writing and Music in May of 2020. She is currently earning an MBA and hopes to use this degree to pursue Arts Administration and to make the arts more accessible to underserved communities. She can be found on Twitter @crochet_bby

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