Gulf of Finland

Can I use my miles to get more miles?
They never expire. Flea market to closet.
A calm naked swim in Simhall, then smoke sauna.

Have a Lapin Kulta Premium.  Find out who’s where.

Angie’s singing. She sways and scat sings, the guitar rolls. She’s on stage in the crowded bar.
Past, present, future.

Go and hit the water. Swim naked in the Simhall then sit in the smoke sauna hot
on wood bench, top row. Out into cold pool.

Annika shows me where they wash rugs with a brush in the Gulf of Finland.
After a pounding, they hang from the rug dock.  Long periods of light.

Lena tells me of churlish reindeer having their ears marked. Slaughter in autumn.
Viili is a dairy product that tastes like glue; piimä quiet buttermilk on tongue.

Angie’s married to a Finn who works nights.
She sings and sways in the pubs and halls of Tampere.

Like Väinämöinen in The Kalevala.
Hot molten blues in foam and beer
Oh Lake Näsijärvi.

©2018 Cheryl J. Fish
Previously published in
Hanging Loose Issue 109.

Cheryl J. Fish is the author of the chapbook Make It Funny, Make It Last (Belladonna Chaplet #171) and her poems and fiction have appeared in Hanging Loose, New American Writing, Iron Horse Literary Review, and Volt. She has been a Fulbright professor in Finland.

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