March 30, 2017

On the Ragged Beach by Steve Klepetar

“And Cohen himself was as still as a stone,
as he watched the woman he loved paw 
at the earth like a white wolf or a witch.”

Alice Hoffman, Drowning Season

And trees grew around her like shadows 
moving on a gray wall, as raw sound ripped 

from her throat. Tonight she was wind 
and green stones on the ragged beach 

where gulls shrieked and dove. She was 
drowning in salt air, her fingers turning 

to sand. In the darkness she owned nothing 
and her eyes burned with emptiness. Her wild

white hair tangled on her shoulders, and she 
tore at the earth and bled. Emptiness 

and grief and a voice charged with lightning 
and flame, lovers igniting at her touch, 

smoke pouring into the night sky, seared 
and branded with stars and wisps of cloud.

Steve Klepetar lives in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, but is currently a visiting scholar at the University of Notre Dame, Australia in Fremantle. His work has appeared widely, and has received several nominations for the Pushcart Prize, including for in 2016. Recent collections include A Landscape in Hell (Flutter Press) and How Fascism Comes to America (Locofo Chaps).

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