After this last outrage, I scooped
out my eyes, put them in my pocket
where they rolled around like keys
loosed from their chain.
I could hear the screams, so I
unhooked my ears, slipped them
in my breast pocket, where they bulged
slightly, throwing off the line of my shirt.
I felt light on my cheek, so soft
on this gray afternoon before gentle rain.
I smelled moisture in oak leaves
and peonies and pine, but there was nothing
to taste  no pretzel salt or sweet ice cream,
no lemon tang or bitter coffee jolt   just my tongue,
that foolish snake, sniffing and snuffling the empty air..

Steve Klepetar’s work has received several nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. The latest of his nine collections include My Son Writes a Report on the Warsaw Ghetto and The Li Bo Poems (forthcoming), both from Flutter Press.


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