Summer 2012

by Adam Moskowitz
West Virginia I thought I found you when I brushed away the pieces of the broken mason jar

West Virginia I thought I found you when the four-wheeler built in Japan climbed the rocks built by God

West Virginia I thought I found you when the cashier at the gas station in Logan recognized me

West Virginia I thought I found you in a box of dusty tapes, and

I thought I found you West Virginia when the tape of Hank Williams unwound

West Virginia I thought I found you in the tick bites and the moss and the moldy trailers

In the watermelon patch and the bitter cucumbers left too long in the garden

West Virginia they say that tomatoes won’t carry your heavy metals but mustard greens will

And that drinking from the spring is not much better than drinking from the tap

I still haven’t found you, West Virginia

I looked for you in Detroit where the mountains are made of car parts, and I looked for you in Iowa where there are no mountains
at all

I thought I saw you on a beach in California but I know you hate the ocean

And maybe I did find you West Virginia but maybe everyone else got to you first

They grabbed your loose thread and pulled until you spiderwebbed across the whole country

Now I’m left with nothing but a painted saw and holes in my shirts

But every time I drive west in the fall, I check my mirrors to see if you’re with me, West Virginia

And every time I drive east in the spring, I think it might be you that just passed me in the left lane

Because you stand up in the hills while I walk down through the hollows

And you see what’s coming while I can only wait

One morning, Adam was discovered on the front steps of a house on MLK Way in Berkeley, California, a very long way from his home. Shortly thereafter, he became an expert at surviving off of free samples at Trader Joe’s and knew exactly when there would be free cheese at Berkeley Bowl. His current whereabouts are unknown.


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