Sheila-Na-Gig online


Ron Riekki

Ron Riekki’s books include My Ancestors are Reindeer Herders and I Am Melting in Extinction (Apprentice House Press), Posttraumatic (Hoot ‘n’ Waddle), and U.P. (Ghost Road Press). Right now, Riekki is listening to Tanaka Yuri’s “Plastic Love.”

A Bird Watches Me Play Basketball

I love this bird. Blue. On a wire. Looking down at me.
I swear it’s watching me play basketball. Alone. A dunk

court. Rims where small children can even dunk on them.
I’m Shaq. I’m Hakeem. I’m Manute. This bird wonders

what I am doing with this massive egg that I bounce. I
wonder why it doesn’t fly. If I was a bird, I would be

stunned, to swim in sky, every day. I dunk, hang on rim,
a yell. I let go, a second of flying. I look up. The bird

is gone. The ground is so wet. Rain earlier. The birds
splashing into the sky.

The Guys Who Fell Asleep and Got Fired

were the ones most dedicated to the job,
most needing the money, babies at home,
how they’d say they loved security and
I almost believed them, but they were
needing to love security, whereas I hated
it, just sitting there, staring, unable to read,
earning a penny every four seconds so that
I’d count in my mind, over and over, one
two three four penny one two three four
penny one two three four penny and every
night was the same, the same exact trees
in front of the guard shack, the same exact
guard shack next to the trees, the same exact
boredom where one night could feel like
seven billion centuries, but if you feel asleep
it would be over in a split second, you just
had to risk everything in the world, and
we were on camera, always on camera,
born on camera, married to camera, so
if the boss wasn’t asleep, he could catch
you, and if he caught you, he loved to drop
you, and when you were dropped, then
you would shatter, the glass of your body
all mad and scurrying, breaking into dead
corners. I’d see the fired, come out of
the main office, head down, knowing
nothing. They’d make us sign forms.
Another night. No moon. The moon
was fired. I wonder this. The trees
have never been fired. They stand
there forever. The night is hungry.


%d bloggers like this: