Steve Klepetar’s work has received several nominations Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. Recent collections include A Landscape in Hell, How Fascism Comes to America, and Why Glass Shatters.
Every Day I Don’t Die
“Every day I don’t die is February 30th
And more sex is possible.” — Frederick Seidel
Every day I don’t die is a celebration in my heart,
in my lungs and bones and blood.
Every day I don’t die is a day with mountains
scraping against clouds.
Every day I don’t die comes upon me while I sleep
and feeds my dreams.
I wake in a kind of heaven, with your body near mine.
Maybe it’s the Fourth of July or maybe Halloween.
We dress ourselves in the costumes of flesh.
Maybe you touch my hair as I kiss your thigh.
It doesn’t matter if my brain is on fire
or my bad eye tries to blink back tears.
There will be fruit and cheese and wine.
We touch, we eat. Every day I don’t die is a festival of love.
A Way In
All you need is a way in, a small opening between trees.
Then you can slip past, leaving the road to roaring cars.
There, in a new kind of darkness, begin to weave
your vision with awakened eyes. Weave in silence,
pulling threads from memory and song.
Remember the pain in your foot when you stumbled
in the field, hard dirt rubbed into your jeans.
Recall the sun in your eyes, and how you turned away,
hand shielding your brow. Remember your brother’s voice,
how your uncle took you hiking in the rain.
Your parents were gone halfway around the world,
and all you could do was cry and limp in the mud.
Remember the hawks nesting near your yard,
how they perched on the fence, scanning the grass for prey.
The Language of Stars
If only I could have spoken your name
in the language of stars,
your music might have flowed from the hills
like a river being born.
That would have been a miracle,
a way of opening the sky.
If only I could have whispered
your name in the language of goats or crows.
What a world would have emerged,
a tiny egg growing, then floating on the sea.
If only I could have turned in my chair,
with my eyes nailed to your voice
and your hair, with my hands on fire,
with my parched tongue drinking in the rain.