“I Found a Tire Mold Too” By Brandon Best

We stop at the abandoned tire factory because you said it has five stories of good energy. I volunteer to try the ladder up to the roof because that’s the kind of thing my best self would do. My best self is never shy, timid, and rarely questions what I do but gives the rungs a shake to see if the steel bolts will stay. Just in case. Twenty feet later, I get a leg over the top and I help you up even though my palms sweat as bad as my mother’s at the thought of heights. It feels like a kind of nowhere, standing between the cinnamon brick eaves and the asphalt roof dipping at the center of it all. Thank God for the Rust Belt.

We hear dogs bark under the cover of a forest of suburban trees, disrupted by sirens and a bar playing the “Folsom Prison Blues.” I suppose every night’s like this, but it was idiocy and a shared loneliness that brought us here. You like reminding me when we met at a Halloween party, when I was at my best self, and you said I’m an ass but we can still be friends. I swear I never do that. To get up here we sprinted across the barren construction yard, tripping over mounds of grassy chunks and upturned concrete. Urgent as if the black and the night are things needing to be cut through. Creeping through the stairway, you grab my arm to stop and examine the date on the Marlboro package to see when this factory was last in use.

Brandon Best is pursuing a B.A. in English at Cedarville University. He enjoys reading Wallace Stegner, Elizabeth Bishop, and Simone Weil. His work has appeared in Noble Gas Quarterly, Foliate Oak, and The Ibis Head Review. 

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