Saturday, April 13, 2019

Cactus and Skulls by Steve Klepetar

“You make a better door than a window,” she said,
and I ducked out of her way so she could see the TV,
which was her kind of window anyway, opening
on a desert of flies and heat. Nobody was there,
only cactus and skulls, the white-hot sky.
We watched for hours as night poured down
and stars burned in the sudden cold. I was afraid
to touch the remote. She only spoke to ask
for lemonade and tea. The windows were boarded
up and the only light leaked in through long thin
cracks in the plywood, making shadows like long sticks,
bending by the couches and chairs. When she finally
fell asleep, I buried my head beneath an old, white
towel where I counted my breaths until morning
broke over my hands like water spilling between stones.

Steve Klepetar recently relocated from Minnesota, where he lived and taught for over 36 years, to the Berkshires in Massachusetts. His work has appeared widely in the U.S. and abroad, and has received several nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. Recent collections include: A Landscape in Hell; Family Reunion; and How Fascism Comes to America.

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