I am not from Cleveland. I grew up on a hill in the middle of nowhere Northeast Ohio. But like many dwellers of Northeast Ohio?s cities, I transplanted into this potholed former paradise from my own little piece of Appalachia. Only I?m a generation (or two) late. You?ve heard this joke before:

Q: ?What?s the capital of West Virginia??

A: ?Akron, Ohio?

I come to Cleveland by way of Akron ? and Kent and Ashland and Elyria and a couple years? sojourn to the ?other? Midwest, Minneapolis. My words feel forged in a burn barrel on a back 40 I imagine defending with a shotgun and my miniature Doberman pinscher. (It was more like an acre and a half, and his bark was much bigger than his bite.) But that place is no longer home, either. So, I look for love showing up in flesh, in Cleveland.

Love shows up.

Life shows up.