Mikko Harvey



I built a playground where you can be alone,
like you like to be.

And I know how you like to play games
about time, so I built you              

this special slide
that never ends—

you just keep sliding. Silly
how a life can move in one direction

for so long without turning.
I built you a doll

in case you don’t feel like sliding. It
isn’t beautiful, it

doesn’t move, but I trained it to say
your favourite words—stable,

empty, yes—over and
over, yes, I think

it’ll be fun. You can do
whatever you want: name it, hug it.

You could invite it into the slide,
but I guess that’s a commitment

you’d probably rather skip. Probably rather
play the priest—so here, I got you this

ceremonial robe. Thought you’d like it. You’re always talking
about spirits—here, it’s exactly

what the real priests wear, I know
because I stole it

from a real church’s closet.
It might be a little heavy

but I think you’ll feel nice
strolling around in it, declaring

what is evil and what is good, what is ugly,
what is ugly. You can point to things

and say what they mean
and that’s what they’ll mean. Yes, the nifty part

of this playground is
you can never be wrong.

You can call the sky
the ground. You can fall off the tower

headfirst and be fine.
The woodchips you will land on

are soft—I paid for the softest woodchips. 

Mikko Harvey
 is the author of Unstable Neighbourhood Rabbit (House of Anansi, 2018). He currently lives in New York City, where he is the Joseph F. McCrindle Foundation Online Editorial Fellow at Poets & Writers Magazine.

Author: Jake Byrne

Poetry editor.