top of page

After the V.A. (With each line’s final word from a poem by Gregory Orr)


“hungry ghost the night”

--Gregory Orr, from “After the Guest”

The day departs

quiet as hell, the briefest

last moments of light. I have no wife.

I have a chair, a table, & sink

though. I have cups & plates.

Neighbors I don’t know. & masks.

I even wore

one to work today. I have hands.

& a tumor. I don’t have tears.

I hate tears. I have a photo

of an ex-girlfriend. She once fed

me vegan for a year, the food looking

sad, a bit lonely, healthy. We had guests.

They’d leave. She left. I had a nap

just now. The ultrasound guy showed me a sight

of something in my neck, a shadow, like night

has entered my body, the cold

internal parts of me, like my insides need a blanket.

She used to be able to carry me on her shoulders.

I look pretty good. I feel so old.

 

Ron Riekki’s books include And Here: 100 Years of Upper Peninsula Writing, 1917-2017 (Michigan State University Press), Here: Women Writing on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (Michigan State University Press, 2016 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal Great Lakes Best Regional Fiction), The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works (Wayne State University Press, 2014 Michigan Notable Book awarded by the Library of Michigan), and U.P.: a novel (Ghost Road Press).


Recent Posts

See All

Two poems by Mckendy Fils-Aimé

sipèstisyon If people say your child is beautiful, your child will become ugly. ok, i confess. once, i said fuck you to danny perkins on the last day of kindergarten after a miserable year of being pu

"Dead Things" by Beth Boylan

I feel compelled to pick up the baby bird that has died just outside my doorstep this morning. Place her in my hand and rub her toothpick ribs with my thumb. Gently kiss the milky-blue bulbs of her ey

Two poems by Daniel Edward Moore

Hey, Future is that you / in the moment / a Buddhist might love / enough to hyperventilate / or the day’s dizzy spin /of 24 hours / kicking joy / to the curbs / of chaos / blessed by Hallmark’s / squa

bottom of page