Death is a little bit confused today.
It’s a little bit early for confusion
considering He knows the future,
but He puts down his head to think.
“Death,” I say, for if I could keep
from being dug under the green,
there’d be nothing I wouldn’t
absolutely do. “Death, who wants
more sorrow today? Let’s eat souls
later. For now, whirligig. Go to a shoe
shop. Get pizza. Anything.” But Death
says, All my souls are old stars. His voice
feels like the end. As if the how never was.
I think many, Death says, I think many have
gone to church for the first time today.
And then, into the green, another. Beside
Death is my dear mother. Dear. And green.
The green before you were born.
Much Better Pay Than Minimum Wage
(Beijing, February 4, 2012)
Erin says, “China has more prostitutes per square inch
than any other country in the world. The brilliant thing
is that you could come here and—if you’re blind enough—
think there aren’t any. It’s not like street hookers in the U.S.
where it’s so painfully obvious the police are being paid off
that you have to grab your children and tuck their eyes
under your arms.” He takes a sip of coffee and goes
into the meeting with the cigarette company.
Ron Riekki's next book is The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works, Wayne State University Press, May, 2013.