by Ron Riekki
Hi, hot wife.
I sit and watch a smoker smoke in the smoke.
This city is on fire, but in slow motion, so nobody is worried.
We are in a prison called home.
The social work program brings me in and threatens that if I speak about Native American issues again in class they will hang me.
Traffic is God.
The applause is God.
The creative writing teacher tells us we can’t write about suicide.
The creative writing teacher can’t write.
He tells us this.
The dark is here twenty-four hours now.
In the military, they taught us S&M.
I went to a play once and a person died onstage.
He really died onstage.
We thought it was part of the play, but the cars were on fire outside.
The smoke becomes gargoyles.
When I worked in the prison, I was God.
I meant, I was dead.
I mean, school is fire.
We sit and watch the moon begin to smoke.
The Milky Way is smoke.
We all go down to the town dump and smoke.
We eat rice, because it is all we can afford.
There is no rice.
The refugee wants glasses, but my boss tells me, “Counsel him so that he’ll realize he doesn’t need glasses.”
I have my arm around Donald Hall.
We are on a bus.
The bus is filled with affidavits.
In the prison, it was the military.
The military was my football coach.
The gang members practice war.
They join the military and it feels like home.
The stars are smoking.
The dinosaurs died of smoke.
We are dinosaurs.
We are dying of smoke and smoking while we die of smoke and we look around to say, “What?”
The beach is a museum of beaches.
The viruses are us.
We are all right, because we think we are all right.
The loneliness roars like it is seventy thousand degrees.
The construction crew has six felonies.
The boss tells me.
The workers in the restaurant near where I live have eight felonies.
The semi-truck driver that just passed us has two felonies.
A good friend of mine has eight misdemeanors.
She got them all in one night.
She said that’s how misdemeanors work.
They come in piles.
They come like orgasms.
The ladders lead you to more ladders.
What happened to you yesterday will happen to you tomorrow.
If you had a lot of sex this year, you will have a lot of sex this year.
If you masturbated every day this year, you will next year too.
If you went to church a lot this year, you will next year too.
The trains carry ash.
Humans are good at killing humans.
I wish I was a saint covered in stop signs.
I am a person trapped in radiation.
I take the radiation jobs.
They pay well.
I’m going to die young.
It won’t be from the smoke.
It will be from minimum wage.
You can get a lot of likes if you’re furious.
I’m too tired to die.
It’s the end of your world.
They shove the ads down your throat, but it tastes like air.
I grew up inside the mines.
The dynamite explosion happened every noon.
A bunch of people came from out of state and kicked us out of our hometown.
They gave each other awards.
I get thrown into the suicide hole.
It’s the color of grey.
The color of a plant disease.
The city confides in dying.
We all go down to the dying.
The smoker smoking in the smoke smokes next to another smoker smoking in the smoke.
There is no sky today.
There is no day, ever.
We die in slow motion.
We burn in Helsinki.
Michigan has a million felonies.
Ohio is its handcuffs.
It’s peaceful when I go to the middle of nowhere.
I sometimes faint.
I live next to a mosque.
Once it’s killed, a snowman looks like this: o00