Poems by Ron Riekki

You Dumped Me Because I Didn’t Believe in Jesus

Christ, you were hot. Like a crash of rhinos hot.
Hot where you have to get reconstructive surgery
after the widespread thickness, the white, leathery
afterlife. Christ, you were mean. You were mean
like men. Mean like paramedics. Mean like a cat
thrown off a bluff. Maybe it was all that Old Testy
stuff about Wrath. Maybe that was your fat God.
The way you threw the teddy bear from the 3rd story
window. The way you mailed my grandmother’s
Bible back to me, like it was another piece-of-shit-
Geico-ad. I hope you don’t treat Jesus like you
treated me. If you do, you’ll be murdering crows
for a living. You’ll be drowned in your own heat.

To All the People Who Attempted My Assassination

I’m living. I’m sorry. It’s like a ghost on fire
over here, the way that I can stay breathing

even with my lungs tacked to a butterfly board.
I’m not saying that I’m all Lazarus, but I do

have the ability to resist being gunstruck. Fools
in the Army tried to lynch me. I picked up a pen

and stabbed at their throats. It looked a bit
like The Three Stooges, but with a lot less

hair. Here’s me in jail. Here’s you accepting
an award. I wonder sometimes what it’s like

when you can pay rent. I think it would be
a bit like diving for spare tires. The starved

tend to not give a fuck about poems. But I choke
poems. I burn them and eat down some wine

made out of mistakes. You can’t live on it.
But you can’t actually die either.

Ron Riekki’s books include U.P., The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works (Wayne State University Press, selected by the Library of Michigan as a 2014 Michigan Notable Book, http://wsupress.wayne.edu/books/detail/way-north) and Here: Women Writing on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (May 2015, Michigan State University Press).

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