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
and the roof sways
under the weight of bats.
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
or flame, or some quieter
misery brewing in this
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.
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.