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Wednesday, July 25, 2018


by Ron Riekki

“Thumbs-Up,” by Barry Blitt / The New Yorker cover July 30, 2018

                    My French girlfriend says,
                    “Your President loves all caps,
                    especially dunce caps,”
                    loves to yell,
                    to scream in fifth-grade language

               as if everything is a storm,
               as if he’ll make porn-$ize money
               if all hell breaks loose,
               as if we can’t lose,
               as if hell

          has no empty space,
          as if we all won’t suffer
          if suffering
          becomes the ring
          we must wear,

       where his words are slapped together
       the threat

   in the mall
   my girlfriend points

and says,
“Look, it’s Trump”
and I ask what she means,
And she says,
“An escalator,

that’s what he does.”
Except this escalator
is broken
and she doesn’t even have to say
how much more fitting this is.

Ron Riekki wrote U.P. and edited The Way North (2014 Michigan Notable Book), Here (2016 Independent Publisher Book Award), And Here: 100 Years of Upper Peninsula Writing (Michigan State University Press, 2017), and Undocumented (with Andrea Scarpino, MSU Press, 2019).