After Taking My Seventh Shower for the Day

 

My father says no more showers.

At all?  At all.  Why?  Because.

 

This is logic.  Pure explanation.

I did a semester at Auburn University.

 

The college looks like a plantation.

This was after I got out of the military.

 

People like to ask me what I got out

of the military.  I like to tell them

 

the GI Bill and PTSD.  It’s all initials.

You get OCD.  My father demands

 

to know why I’d take seven showers

in a time of climate change and I ask

 

him what climate change has to do

with anything and he says climate change

 

has to do with everything and I change

the subject to Desert Storm and he says

 

I have to change how I’m behaving

or he’ll kick me out of the house.

 

The last time that he kicked me

out of the house, I joined the military.

 

Where I watched a helicopter burn.  I

keep wanting to get the smoke off my

 

skin.

Ron Riekki's latest book is My Ancestors are Reindeer Herders and I Am Melting in Extinction (Loyola University Maryland's Apprentice House Press, July, 2019).  Right now he's listening to Radiohead's "Nude."  Before that he was listening to "High and Dry."

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