My Ohio


by Nicholas Rombes

So like a movie version of a movie
on the purple faded couch in the basement
in Tontogany

you took your braids out
on top of me. Your mother came and went
so sheepishly.

You came and came so carefully.

The cadences my students want me
to teach them, yet how to make Ohio
disappear but stay invisible for each of them?

How to figure the black slim squirrel, they say,
who in 1510 could leap from Boxelder to Black Cherry
in the canopy

across the state without its paws
or feet touching the chestnut ground
now criss-crossed with sewer lines and manufactured peat?

The fidgety password attempts that lock
you out of Londontown or Bellefontaine
the children readying themselves

for bed, the cabin darkened now in remote
Oh-io, the true-sourced eggs and surprise
sunrise to make us new, again, us all.



About the Author:

Nicholas Rombes is author of the novel The Absolution of Robert Acestes Laing (Two Dollar Radio), Ramones, from the 33 1/3 series (Bloomsbury) and Cinema in the Digital Age (Columbia UP). His film The Removals was released in 2016. Rombes is a columnist and contributing editor at Filmmaker Magazine, and teaches in Detroit, Michigan.