Two poems by Steve Klepetar


A Cache of Weapons

“Instead of silver and Victorian lace,
The exonerating, exonerated stone.”

   Seamus Heaney

My mother’s voice is stone piled upon stone
a wall or a cairn, sometimes even a cache
of weapons kept near at hand, each one chosen
to fit the hand and let the throw be sharp and hard.
At the market she screams “This is a lousy store!
For every ten items you want, they don’t have three”
and the Spanish guys working there swivel their heads
in her direction. One smiles and shakes his head,

another crosses himself. Even in the narrow aisles,
shoppers stop or back away. Around her the air
grows cold. You’d think there would be no way
back from this when she pays and leaves with her
little bag, but she returns in a day or two, dragging
her cart, gray-green eyes burning the groaning shelves.


Tripping the Sky

Someone trips the sky, or sells it on eBay.
Another father gone, black smoke choking
out chimney spires. Of course Rosebud
was the sled. But then you weren’t available

when the flowers died, when their white
ashes dampened and mixed with clay.
Even worms were cold, bricks scraped by a
thousand hands. Stirring and stirring, even

when wind refused to kiss your open
pores and a sergeant reminded you how
to behave in mixed company. It wasn’t just
that he broke your arm, but how justly he sold

you on a new idea of where you left your
seat. If my head were square, my face a
checkerboard, I could lie in the sand and let
spent waves ripple over my asparagus arms.

I could blend surf and shells and gently
swaying ropes of moon. Oh love, it wouldn’t
be you I would seek to control, or your
warm palms, but our synchronized breath,

the way our braided voices climb this wild
beanstalk, this crazy vortex of mirrors, these
holes bored deep through all faces of sky, far
beyond the sullen lungs of this ancient, unquiet sea.


Steve Klepetar’s work has received several nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. His latest collections include Speaking to the Field Mice (Sweatshoppe Publications), Blue Season (with Joseph Lisowski, mgv2>publishing), My Son Writes a Report on the Warsaw Ghetto (Flutter Press), and Return of the Bride of Frankenstein (Kind of a Hurricane Press).