A quarter Norwegian and in the new Ikea in West Chester, Ohio.
King Oscar II stored bayonets under his bed
when Norway left the union in 1905.
In 1940, King Gustav V stored bayonets under his tennis courts.
I look at Karlstad sofas in the showroom, then eat meatballs
and applecake with vanilla sauce in the cafeteria. Erik the Red comes over,
tray in hand, and asks “Why buy efficiency furniture from Sweden?”
“The Karlstad’s covers machine wash,”
I say, “and come in Kordnal blue, Sivik light yellow, and Mader
multicolor—leaf patterns, shit like that. I got a Toftbo bathmat in odds and ends,
just $3. Now, when I step out of the shower, I won’t brain myself on the tub.
Grandma never stood over me when I slipped.
You ok Philip? Yeah, I’m ok, just brained myself on the tub.
My feet dry on the Toftbo; I can walk on white tiles now,
and Erik, you don’t look like a Viking.” He looks like Tim Robbins
with a Viking helmet. I buy just the Toftbo. I have 90 days to bring it back.
“Do you remember your Grandma at all?” he asks. “Her maiden name was Aaroe,
said aura, she chain-smoked and died of lupus.” “Do you remember
what she said about Swedes?” I knew what she’d say, a Kent 120 in her teeth,
The Swedes have sex in hot tubs or in the snow, and then leave you for dead,
dragging bayonets behind them.
The guy who sold me the rat terrier said, “Remember, if you strangle this dog,
she will become an Angel Dog, and grant wishes you’d never ask for.”
I grip her neck like an IV bag until she went limp.
Hussy white wings, grew out of Angel Dog’s back
and she took off out of the cul-de-sac.
I followed in my Bonneville, down to the levy of the Miami River.
My ex-girlfriend, Hannah, walked up to us—still thin with hair like Louise Brooks
from Pandora’s Box, “How’s it going Tom?” She asked.
“I strangled this dog to make an Angel Dog to give me wishes I’d never ask for.
How are you?” I asked. “I’m ok. I ball this drag queen named Rob.
He works out and loves 70’s muscle cars.” “That’s very nice,” I said.
Angel Dog buys us Olympia Beer at Kroger—$4.49 with a Plus card.
At the automated checkout line we ran into Buddy Bell,
former third baseman for the Cleveland Indians, “Hey kids, got an Angel Dog
there? I saw one in 1976 at the old Municipal. I pulled a 1-2 pitch from Luis Tiant
to the left like a bottle rocket, but Jim Rice caught me at the warning track.
Hell, nice Angel Dog though.” We all sat in patio furniture and drank Olympia.
“Rob has a HI-DEF TV,” Hannah said.
Buddy leaned back in his chair, “Jesus Christ, Tom.
This beer, like filtered Piss.” Angel Dog cleaned her wings and flitted into my lap.
Philip Estes grew up in Dayton Ohio, birthplace of the Wright Brothers, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and Roger Clemens. He has had poems published in Kill Poet and Origami Condom, and he has poems forthcoming in This Zine Will Change Your Life. He now lives in Kansas City, Missouri.