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Ron Riekki

A Coworker Commits Suicide and They Call


us in the office, all of us piled in,

chairs that creak, creak, the sound

like we’re sitting on lobster shells,

all this creaking, enough to drive

you mad, and the speaker comes in,

some woman I’ve never seen in

my life and she says that Chad


has committed suicide.  Who’s

Chad?  She says she wants us

to know that she’s always here

for us.  Who is she?  A cow-

orker whispers to me, Pay us

more, we won’t kill ourselves

then.  The CEO is a billionaire.


The woman in front of us has

a purse that looks like it’s worth

as much as sixteen of our souls.

Someone coughs.  We get no

benefits, no medical no dental

no mental health.  But she’s

here for us.  Who is she?



Ron Riekki’s books include I have been warned not to write about this (Main Street Rag), My Ancestors are Reindeer Herders and I Am Melting in Extinction (Apprentice House Press), Posttraumatic (Hoot ‘n’ Waddle/Small Press Distribution), and U.P. (Ghost Road Press).

Poor Doors
Sheriff Stars

thistles stretch their prickly arms afar

Black Triangle
bedroom tax
Disrupt and Upset
bedroom tax
Sheriff Stars

thistles stretch their prickly arms afar

Black Triangle
Disrupt and Upset

Militant Thistles

prickling the politics of "permanent austerity"

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