Wheeling, West Virgina by Maddie Woda

Illustration by Eileen Gao and Cameron Lee

Illustration by Eileen Gao and Cameron Lee

This is the type of grit meant to be trapped under glass,
buildings with soft crown molding just starting
to curdle at the edges, cheese in hot sun,
and black river sludge painting fleur de lis
on manmade islands of brick and dust.
A football stadium floating like a decadent
houseboat, an iced and cooled cake, in the middle
of the river, where boys suit themselves
for battle. A thousand Davids and Goliaths,
and even though this town is Methodist
by trade, we still don’t know if our hometown
heroes are the Davids or the Goaliths.
We don’t know which is worse.