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Sunday 14 October 2012

Steve Klepetar

Hold On Tight

This ride may last a few minutes or it may
endure, like nails rusting slowly in a splintery

board, for the rest of your life.  Professors
of motion have climbed down iron ladders

and are working it out.  You can hear them
moaning all night in closets and dens.  Whiskey

glasses clink as mountains of ice pile up,
steaming in amber flow.  Meanwhile your little

car rattles high on the track and your frayed
nerves, those cables of glass and wind, bend

tighter and tighter as your stomach fills
with birds.  Forget mercy.  Only machines live

here, and they won’t negotiate a different ending
now.  No wonder you have eaten shadows

from that plate of rice.  The summit slowly rises
into the deep well of your sight.  Could anyone

be surprised when sharks grow pale in the wan
depths of your eyes?  Screams linger in fiery ash and rain.

The Half-Brother’s Song

I’ve been a black bear stung with hunger, stumbling
through autumn-ravaged yards.  My shadow hangs

between slender pines, scent of water flooding my nose. 
Here comes the moon, my half-brother, drunk again

on light and stars.  His laughter shakes the night, breaking
yellowing leaves as they cling to maple and oak.  See how

they drift in his cold and pallid gleam.  I’ve been a crow
staring out over a browning field, my yellow eyes bright

as little moons.  I’ve been a fish with silver scales
and a frog, pinging passionate songs through rushes

and mud.  When winter returns I will sleep through the slow
pulsing of my turgid blood, half believing the miracles I dream.

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