Five years after I left, I got Pennsylvania inked into my skin. It was my second autumn post-college, and the notion that I might never live in my home state again was sinking in. So I decided to carry the state outline on my left shoulder, with the major rivers of the western third, where I grew up, drawn in blue.
This essay is an excerpt from Belt Publishing’s Red State Blues: Stories from Midwestern Life on the Left.
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