Sweden is what?
two or three matchbooks dropped in a sink
useless and tiny
hey, it's what makes a Swede a Swede isn't it?
nowhere left to go anyway
but I'm cold
and there's a row of trash cans below the Traneberg bridge
above them is a black hole,
your entire existence can fit in that hole, you know
I'm awake, taking photographs of the night
I'm awake, and in the bus-free morning
I see a tiny figure cross the street
to drink coffee somewhere
hurry back home,
there's only you and me
eating the road
the sand the salt the snow they
hardly move when you
going to a mall downtown,
for their homes
it still gets dark early here
and from a nearby farm
the sound of the oak trees tired clapping;
branches trying to keep
a man is walking back and forth
on a gigantic parking lot
looking for chips and cracks
on the windshields of the cars
"hey pal, how's your windshield doing?"
he calls out to me
"doin' just fine, thanks"
"are you sure buddy?"
he walks purposefully up to my Saab,
a glimmer of hope for a minute there in his eyes,
it's below zero in Malmö
and yet another commission
I'm driving back and forth
on the freeways circling Malmö city
listening to the news
Christmas retail; what a disappointment
Swedish consumers spent no more than
sixty billion kronor on Christmas gifts last year
a woman says, disgusted
no more than sixty billion,
that's the sum of Gambia's GNP
we might as well
for old Sweden
there's no future
Tomas Ekström (born in Stockholm in 1969) lives in the rural south of Sweden where he works as editor, publisher, and part-time church janitor. He is the author of three books of poetry, as well as a number of chapbooks and broadsides. His poems have been translated into several languages including English, Spanish, Arabic and Polish.