In Shanghai

I’d walk home and walk

over those sleeping in
the streets, looking in

at the dentist office
where—swear to God—

a woman slept in a dentist
chair. And then a massage

parlor where I could see
people sleeping on all

of the massage tables.
And a grocery store

where the fruit aisle
had a wooden board

placed over the fruit
so that it became a bed,

a man sleeping on top
of the oranges and

bananas below. And
when I got back to my

apartment, my Chinese
girlfriend was waiting

for me, saying, “I have
been here all night;

where were you?”


“Walking where?”

“In my sleep.” 

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 (2016 Independent Publisher Book Award,) The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works (2014 Michigan Notable Book,) and U.P.: a novel (Ghost Road Press). Books upcoming in 2019 include Posttraumatic: A Memoir—Essays & Flash Non-Fiction on the Military, Prison, Iggy Pop, The Devil, & Writing (Four Chambers Press/Hoot ‘n’ Waddle), The Many Lives of The Evil Dead: Essays on the Cult Film Franchise (McFarland, with Jeff Sartain,) and Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice (Michigan State University Press, with Andrea Scarpino.)

Artwork by Jodie Filan