I Ask the Class Who Else Has Been in the Military and the Class Is Silent

not can-we-have-a-moment-of-silence
silence, not we’re-looking-at-a-row-of-
Arlington-tombstones silence, but rather
a who-the-hell-cares silence where rain
falls outside and you can hear it jogging
down the side of the building like it has
a big date tonight and wants to turn into
a supermodel in super-seconds and I say
in the most academic language that I can
possibly muster, “oh, forget it” like war
can be wiped out by quitting speaking.

Ron Riekki’s story “Accidents” received the 2016 Shenandoah Fiction Prize. He basically thinks musicians are the best thing in history. He’d also like to list a bunch of authors he loves, but it would go on forever. (His list of favorite politicians is very, very short.) Riekki’s non-fiction, fiction, and poetry have been published or are upcoming in The Threepenny Review, River Teeth, Spillway, Rattle, Wigleaf, and many other literary journals. He is located in Florida.