Avram Kline’s poems appear in The Common, Transom Journal, Juked, Prick of the Spindle
and Jellyfish. He lives in Brooklyn, where he co-curates Readings at Milk & Roses with poet
When a kid comes to me for a closet,
I point to the zenana off my
bedroom. She lowers her lovely
horns and walks in, murmuring something
about how few can really hustle.
On the street, the marrying
types keep tapping the melons.
A soul-train, reports my Phoenician
from her Fiat. She is a rare breed.
Last summer, she engineered the reversal
of a river. Even a lake wants relief.
She’s been tracking my moves—
a man should know how he's doing.
Sometimes she sees me jig, singing of love.
A country singer's son has been fingering your girlfriend, and this may ruin your prom. When she returns from his Pontiac, you marshal her to a green settee, which you will use as a bunker. But she straddles you on it. We might say she sidesaddles you on it. Unimportant really. What's important is that when your thing presses into her groin, she ups and leaves, and you remain there like a pylon. Strike that. You remain pinned to that settee by the devastating weight of your blue balls. You're on record. Romans, you say, make pins of iron and bone. Make reliefs of your victories! And you go on about the tombs and the tuber fields. But let's say a blind citizen offers you a suit. It's white, with red epaulettes. It rubs like insect wing. When officers see you in it, they escort you to a secret ranch where the cows avoid antibiotics, living, as they do, at the mercy of Christ.
A flamingo is the one big seabird I can imagine, says a woman to a field. I don't know about egrets. An egret is a heron, says the field, and a heron isn't a seabird, but a freshwater bird. They talk more about seabirds, then the field grafts onto her face the look of a technocrat. She returns to the homestead, where her husband has been sifting durum. He gazes up at her. I love your face, he says. They dine, cautiously. There is a tremor in the earth beneath them.
Everything With Me Is Subordinated To Duty
I thumb the wing of a great white
Moth perched on the dashboard of a Civic.
Take me, says the moth.
Before this windshield I die. Adieu. Blue hills
Sing with wing. I wanted to make a sound for you.
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