Smokehouse conspirators. Shadowy commercials
for the smashed. Rovaniemi Saturday night.
Someone’s waiting for the Americana
pizza. Someone else is bent over two lines
of antihistamine, snorting, coughing, snorting
again. (Give him credit for resourcefulness.)
That one’s hands are clenched tight as frost, that other’s
nodding her head in time, like windshield wipers.
All of us sitting at this black table
understand the need for sin and the price
of penance. The Goldrush is over. Morning
brings fog, steam rising off the Kemijoki.
But the only gold left in Lapland is in September
birch leaves. In the leaves, and in the beer