2 Poems by Steve Klepetar

The Shadow House

“I want to live in the certainty
of apocalypse, the integral promise
of phantom brick” – Dana Curtis

Tonight the bricks glow
as moonlight trickles down
through oaks

and the roof sways
under the weight of bats.
I’ve caught

my hand under a chair,
looking for pennies and mice.
Face to face

with myself, I can’t bear
the pain of eyes. When you
come home, please

open the door slowly, as if
something was at stake.
It’s been a long time

in this shadow house,
waiting for the world to end
in gloom,

or flame, or some quieter
misery brewing in this
overheated land.


“Abandoned” image by Flickr user Allen

Now That the World Has Ended

I wake up tasting salt. Seawater
rises through limestone, up over
useless levies drowning palm trees
and cats, eating at foundations.
Buildings crumble. I toss a handful
of quarters into the waves. I hold
a teacup, brew a tiny hurricane.
Winds stir my hair.
Down the beach someone has cast
a line beyond the shore where savage
shadows circle, mocking the bait.
I own two handfuls of sand, a piece
of coral and a shell so white it burns
my eyes when sun ratchets toward
noon in cloud-broken sky.
Scent of salt and fish and oil slicked
over the surface of these gray waters,
stretching past what instruments measure –
half chemical soup, half tears of river gods.

image1 (3)Steve Klepetar‘s work has appeared around the world in such journals as Snakeskin, Deep Water, mgv2_datura, Ygdrasil, Expound, and others, and has received several nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, including three in 2015. Recent collections include My Son Writes a Report on the Warsaw Ghetto and The Li Bo Poems, both from Flutter Press. A new full-length collection, Family Reunion, is forthcoming from Big Table Publishing.