By Jeanette Beebe 

These telephone poles follow
a road under a sky that’s still
the color of steel. Remember
this steel is still made here,
amid so much abandonment.
See all those blighted houses
oh so carefully described by
so many writers & reporters.
This is the somewhere I am,
where a salad is a deep lake
of macaroni or layers of Jello
on a pretzel crust & winter is
six months of unholy cold,
this absolutely no one in their right
mind would choose to stay place,
this gut the industry then fill
the prescriptions place. No —
this time, we’ll hear fireworks
not gunshots, & ride through
even when the street lights
come on & braking, a cloud
caking Granddad’s car clean
with dust, pretty as paint
over rust. One day they visit
for a trends piece. Look at how
all those folks are saying exactly
what we think we hear them saying.
An art thief. A docuseries
with experts shot in the part
of the city they want to see.
An ASMR video on repeat.
Music inside a conch shell,
no plans to see the ocean.

Jeanette Beebe is a poet and journalist who lives in Akron’s Highland Square neighborhood. Her reporting has appeared in Time, Popular Science, Scientific American, NPR member station WHYY, and elsewhere. She supported the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State and the COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic. She also works as a fact checker and podcast producer. She was named a finalist for the Iowa Review Award in Poetry. Her poems have been published by Salamander, Sixth Finch, The Chattahoochee Review, Juked, Poet Lore, New South, etc., and were nominated for Best New Poets and a Pushcart Prize. She formerly served on staff at Nat. Brut, winner of a Whiting Literary Magazine Prize. She got into poetry through spoken word, with stage-to-page poems stapled into zines — a journey that led her to the Brave New Voices Poetry Slam as a member of Minneapolis/St. Paul’s team. She holds an A.B. in English with certificates in Creative Writing and Gender & Sexuality Studies from Princeton University. Her website is