To the Cop Who Picked Me Up When I Hitchhiked Across the U.S.

“The unit of wine is the cup.”
–from “In Hell the Units Are the Gallon and the Fuck”
by Anthony Madrid

The unit of whine is the cop. Dead, the difference between hiking
and hitchhiking is panoptics. I was a vet, vetted, taken to the border
and told not to walk back to the shitty city where I just came from,
a dread outside Trenton where the moon was once arrested for being
too bright, shoved in a cell and shelled, its inside cored and sent
back to the sky where, a permanent record, it could only find grave-
yard shift work, a security gig where it always had to fear for its life.

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.)

Photography by Fabrice Poussin.