Ryan Eckes

for what we will

you can stick a 7-11
right there
like nothing happened
the city flushes itself
all day
people couple off
like the poem’s over
i got divorce flowers
for everyone
i got water
for the vase
you can tax the sun
you can mow the lawn
of little ears
peddled by squirrels
made of thanks
to hollowed earth
what “let” means
is the squirrel’s anybody, all
squirrely, night splashing
onto stairs, keys
to love the bar’s
a subway entrance
in my bedroom
like a pillow
your scent barked home
in a shirt
a string whistled thru
utility’s erotic
in defiance of
you can take off
what you need
you can lick your bowl
for no credit
you can pledge allegiance
to the floor

for what we will

ask me about diogenes
beating off under the stars
while the moon looks on
like a tired dandelion
at the staff meeting
our home is sinking
because nothing is finished
the day ends in y
and a text from an ex
trying to gaslight me
to feed her own brand
as if rich people should exist
i re-caulk my tub
as we speak toilet paper
is being made, today’s date
stamped on the inside
of each roll
there is no goal
there is love running away again
past the skeleton
of a payphone
i don’t want a job
to make me feel better
i don’t want a dog
to teach me new tricks
i put my hand in
the falling elevator
and rise up


you didn’t used to be here
ghosted on
by a some-ness of a somebody
limping out of that billboard
for dead horse times
i used to make old walls
look new too
what a rip
to be just this one thing
louie louie
kids are coffee
til it snows cashiers
from your severed heart
and gaslit jaw
in moan
tell me again how
we should scatter into each
other like birds
so the brands
we’d kill for
fall out of us
like bombs of nothing
on the borderless world
owned by a fleeting chirp
that evicts capitalists
at birth
tell me again how
condos burned to the ground
last night
for what we will
like a soaked fact


Ryan Eckes is a poet from Philadelphia. He recently finished writing a book called General Motors about labor and the influence of public and private transportation on city life. Other books include Valu-Plus and Old News (Furniture Press 2014, 2011). His poetry can be found in Tripwire, Slow Poetry in America Newsletter, Public Pool, and elsewhere. He won a Pew Fellowship in 2016.