sometimes, ohio wants me to stay. i can feel it, like a child, tugging at my hem. i don’t move, yet, but the fields sway, my body small in their palm. white petals snow-dust the trees, sentinel. i put the honeysuckle in my mouth. sometimes, i am rewarded. the sun is happy to see me, lifts its glass in celebration. ohio spreads its light for me. i walk past the stop sign, the crumbling beehive still clinging to it. at the lake, the sun drinks itself into a stupor. the deer run rampant here, but we love them anyway. a boy jumps into the lake, is suspended for a second. the crickets talk without pause. the boy goes underwater, and there is the moment, always, where i wonder if he will come back up. the drunken sun vomits its radiance all over the sky. my feet sit still in the water, warm and then cool. the sun passes out in the lake bed. one of the reeds bends to my hand, slices my finger open. my blood is here, in the lake.
Samantha Kirschman is 18 and has spent the majority of her 18 years in Cleveland. She is currently a freshman at the University of Pittsburgh, with an intended major in English Writing.