Dear Tourists

By Johannes Göransson Johannes Goransson
Dear Tourists,

You can grope for moist souvenirs in the basement,
but you'll need patience
because nobody down there will warn you about the floor.

In the street you'll find squirrels; on my scalp, bumps.
If you want proof for the folks back home that you've surged
like a seagull, print your name and number in the bathroom.

If you want a seagull for a pet, talk to my therapist.
If you find her, tell me where she lives, and where her daughter
goes to school. If you want a piece of me, suck my dick.

If you want to sell trips to the general public, take my pulse
or my coffee-table picture-books about Italy.
If there's a house in the trees, throw up a hammer

and see what falls down. The bleeding kid isn't
the best prize and you can't return it, so be careful where
you walk when you've had a few.

If there's a nettle between your shoulder blades
and you're having trouble breathing, tell the teacher,
but don't tell her it was me cause it wasn't.

I was just watching, maybe even laughing at your gurgling sounds.
That incident belongs to somebody else's amusement park.
I don't ever want to see it again on this side of the blunt tracks.

Johannes Goransson, "Dear Tourists" from Dear Ra (a story in flinches). Copyright © 2008 by Johannes Goransson.  Reprinted by permission of Starcherone Books.

Source: Dear Ra (a story in flinches) (Starcherone Books, 2008)

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Poet Johannes Göransson

Biography

Poet and translator Johannes Göransson emigrated with his family from Skåne, Sweden to the United States at age 13. He earned a BA from the University of Minnesota, an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and his PhD from the University of Georgia. He is the author of several books, including Haute Surveillance (2013), Entrance to a colonial pageant in which we all begin to intricate (2011), and Dear Ra (A Story in Flinches) . . .

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Poems by Johannes Göransson

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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