Ron Riekki


My luggage turning my back
to concrete, tired as a valley

full of bullet holes from cowboys
with marshmallow trigger fingers,

I missed my stop for Lille
and found myself heading

to Belgium. My dream, ever
since I was thirty-eight,

was to go to the place
of my ancestry, well, I was

at least one-sixteen Belgian,
my mother loving beer

and my father loving waffles,
but I knew that as soon

as the train landed, I was
going to have to turn around,

rush back to the wrong room
in the wrong country

that I originally came from.
They say that dreams

are meant for the dying,
that we should only want

not to be hunted. I remember
Kevin Smith saying life is

all about the three f-s of
food, fucking, and I forget

the third one. I think it was
to be heard, but it started

with an f. Maybe to not
be forgotten, to remember

where it is you’re supposed
to be heading, to end up

in the place where you
always wanted to bleed,

where you know the best
food and fornication is,

the country that holds
all of your air.

Où diable suis-je?”

train 2

Ron Riekki’s books include U.P.: a novel, The Way North (Wayne State University Press, chosen by the Library of Michigan as a 2014 Michigan Notable Book), and Here: Women Writing on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (Michigan State University Press, May 2015,