I’m trying to keep him
from crying, telling him
that poetry does not mean
I’m dying for graves. I mean
that he needs to calm down.
He keeps seeing me falling down
into the holes, I mean, hells
of it all, the mines like Hell
in this town where we’re owned,
where we don’t seem to own
anything, only this worry for
each other, this lack of forest,
this ten-hour shift, deep need for rest,
and I say I pray I’ll stay alive for him.
The Things I Never Should Have Done
They include matches. There is a moment
where I tripped a child, when I thought about fucking
a blind girl, where I chopped down Jesus
when he was wanting to date me. I hate
all these closets, the way that they open so fucking
slowly that you almost hear the skeletons,
their privates rubbing together, the pubic
bone’s connected to the public bone, the fucking
bone’s connected to the paparazzi bone.
I wish, sometimes, that I could have been
worse, much worse, a Pol Pot of the library, a fucking
Hitler of my high school. There’s a punk
phase you go through where you whip it
out in front of everyone in study hall, their fucking
mouths all hanging there like noose-victims
and you realize that even evil can sometimes
feel so boring and that good can be so motherfucking
awesome that it makes you want to cum
until there is nothing left but peace.
Ron Riekki likes to write about the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. His books include UP: a Novel; The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works; and Here: Women Writing on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.