My father sits in the living room, reading,
drinking gin. My mother is on the phone
with her lover, a sad, small man who keeps
He has a collection of pre-Colombian art.
On weekends he washes his T-Bird at the beach.
He lifts weights at the gym and boxes
to keep in shape. Once he beat up
a young thug for sitting on the hood of his car,
sent him home crying and bloody.
My father’s face is gray, the book heavy in his hands.
Opera on the radio, a spring breeze blowing
through an open window.
My mother has been talking for nearly an hour now.
My father freshens his drink, turns a page.
Slowly the room burns. On the shelves, books turn to ash.
Steve Klepetar has recently relocated to the Berkshires in Massachusetts after 36 years in Minnesota. His work has received several nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, including three in 2017. Recent collections include A Landscape in Hell (Flutter Press), How Fascism Comes to America (Locofo Chaps), and Why Glass Shatters (One Sentence Chaps).