My body has grown soft. Soft and brittle, hard to move, easy to bruise. Skin that shifts a little too freely over fat, pulled loose and drooping. My skin didn't toughen with age, but instead grew soft, like the peel on a rotted fruit.
Fairy tale tropes for a midwestern gothic are tantalizingly familiar, and when I think of home I see them all, their archetypes and allegories, characters we connect with in a malaise not beyond a garden wall, but right here, with us— in a place of enervated belief and heuristic magic.