Dear Kelsey

Matthew Heston

Photo Credit: Nevenka Mazic / Flickr (CC-by-nc)

By the end of the night, I’d looked into
your eyes for so long, I had forgotten they were

attached to you—like when you repeat a word
so many times it starts to lose

all its meaning, or when you stare at a
Seurat and forget each dot means something

larger than itself. Sometimes, our eyes
play tricks on us, like the kid who knows magic

that no one invited to this party, but he
still showed up, and he brought his deck of cards.

It’s true there’s probably a logical explanation for
every ghost story you’ve ever heard, but that doesn’t

make them any less spooky—it’s worse
knowing that the truth is out there, but still

made itself invisible. Whether we like it
or not, a lie told enough times to enough people

becomes a truth. But the opposite is true, too:
a truth repeated for long enough becomes

common sense, and that’s the easiest sense
to destroy, because you forget why

you believed it in the first place, or if you
ever really believed in it at all.


Matthew Heston lives in Chicago, Illinois, where he is a graduate student at Northwestern University. Email: matthewheston[at]

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