but the wind blew me back via Warren, Ohio in the dead of night
Poetry by Matt Mitchell
a student in Florida is asked to identify Ohio on a map & he places a black star in dry-erase marker on Iowa.
The stars are warmer above Mosquito Lake. All the restaurants have spinning neon signs, & shoe collections carry the currency of diamonds.
All the graffitied & abandoned steel plants tower like skyscrapers guarding the Ohio-Pennsylvania line. There will be poems written about Warren, Ohio.
Kids will march onto football fields at halftime & sing about the gardens they are building inside of potholes. Every satellite is stationed above us,
every sunset crawls beneath our line of horizon. After the Dayton massacre, the president rings may god bless the memory of those who perished in Toledo
across the hills of cyberspace, & every other American lets him—because Ohio is nothing but corn & turnpikes with a few billboards swallowing up traffic.
When you hear about a man dressed as jesus longboarding around a college campus, you know where he is from. When asked to pick us out on the map,
our lines begin looking like Idaho or Iowa or even New York. Every town looks the same when it is forgotten. I hope my children see the day
when students from all over the world come to visit & study Dave Grohl Alley. When a holographic version of Maurice Clarett runs wild through the streets of downtown,
delivering Hot Dog Shoppe hot dogs to every door step. When I pass by old houses & cannot remember a time when someone I used to love lived inside.
Matt Mitchell is an intersex writer from Northeast Ohio. His work appears in, or is forthcoming to, venues like The Boiler, NPR, the minnesota review, Passages North, and The Shallow Ends, among others. He is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection Neon Hollywood Cowboy (Big Lucks, 2021). Find him on Twitter @matt_mitchell48.