Ron Riekki

Reading Kay Ryan’s “Grazing Horses” in Class


Instead of saying “tilts abruptly,”

I said “tits erupting,” the class not


even laughing, and me neither,

the cardiac arrest of it, how there


was no going back, how the breasts

volcanoed whether or not I wanted


them to, how there was an abrupt

tilting at the same time, how two


things can so easily happen even

if one’s a furnace and the other, ice.

My First CT Scan


The painting on the ceiling of trees

scares me, something about the colors,

like LSD, a forest floating horizontally


above me with a radiologist with a beard

with a scowl like a dead bird and

the sound of crickets being pumped in


mixing with the sounds of machinery

you would never find in the woods,

then the nurse insisting I use the wheel-


chair on the way back to the room,

a room as empty as the entire ward

now that it’s 3 a.m., a P.A. and CNA


whispering in their circular station that

reminds me of Star Trek: “What

happened to her?” “She’s dead.”

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). Riekki co-edited Undocumented (Michigan State University Press) and The Many Lives of The Evil Dead (McFarland), and edited The Many Lives of It (McFarland), And Here (MSU Press), Here (MSU Press, Independent Publisher Book Award), and The Way North (Wayne State University Press, Michigan Notable Book). Right now, he's listening to The Doors' "Riders on the Storm."