It’s the sky there that kills you. Because it’s not
like a sky at all, more like a wall that used to have a
sun painted on it. Under that vault of grey-it moves
in around early November, doesn’t clear till Marchyou
can’t help but give up everything. They say it was
sky that made them gamblers lose all but their bones,
buried too deep to get to. And, you know, they gave
those in the end, too. Cause when you’re trapped in
Wheeling by gravity and a trick sky, it’s all you can do
to keep yourself on top of bridges.
    There’s where I lost my virginity. There’s where I
lost my mind, where I tried to shake off thoughts the
way a dog shakes fleas, the way a working man stomps the
dirt from his boots…
     Losing my virginity was just as messy as losing my
mind, but it sure was more fun. I gave it up like most,
drunk, and to a kind boy I wanted to know little of. If
I turned my head in his bed I saw the woman he loved
smiling at me from a picture, holding a bottle of Jack
Daniel’s and a cigarette in the same hand, as if she was
toasting us.
    My mind was another matter.
    It held on tighter, not as eager to taste a new layer
of skin. It smashed in pieces like a bottle thrown on
pavement, scattered far and wide. Maybe it got picked up
by the Ohio River, deposited on the banks of the
Mississippi. Maybe it clung to the bottom of a truck’s
tyres, headed the one way out of town.