Two Poems

The Taxi Driver in Singapore

passes a Nicholas Cage poster,
a Borders.
There’s traffic.
He tells me that Starbucks over there
was flooded.
You can tell;
it’s closed for repair.
There’s a lull.

I ask him his favorite film.
Of all time? he asks.
All time.
Saw, he says.
Saw?  The gross movie?
It’s a wonderful film, he says.
We pass an area compact with sex shops.
You can chew gum here, he says, it’s a myth that you can’t.

Maybe, In Our Way, We Were Both Morons

I once drove to Lisbon with a racist named Brad.
He looked like he could be put on a totem pole,
shaved head stoicism. We were in the military
together and he rented a Fiat. I thought

Portugal would be beautiful and I wanted
to see if I could convince him that whites
weren’t the superior race. He cranked
a tape of Ronnie Milsap and as soon as we hit

the road he asked me if I believed in Jesus
Christ. I said I had problems with religion
and tried to shift the conversation
but he always brought it back to God

until he exhausted me and we drove in silence.
Fields and fields of sunflowers. The smell
of manure. Soil as soft as altar bread.
And our minds, flaming like oil.

—Ron Riekki, Leesburg, FL