your rivers whittle
down my bones. Into the mud
my heels press like arrows,
my blood rings metallic rung
by rung. I yearn to be your son
as much as daughter. I pace
your streets until they festival
like calendars; I learn to bite
my lip and made a dollar.
I grow strong and stubborn off your water.
Ohio, be holy as your mounds. Ohio, who spires me,
who weathervanes me. Who knows
who I came out of. Her father mixed
starch in the backroom. Her father mixed
March in the backroom, and all the weather
in the evening draped like tents behind
my school, pitched blue. The beads
I wore were gravel, gravel on my knees
and how I traveled, how my sister rode
the playground swings at dusk, and how,
how high the wildflowers, grew, but always you,
always. All of the ways you outgrew them.