It’s Not My Affair
The last time, I closed the storm door and forgot
to lock it.
Any copper inside was already green
Wind struggled against the screen.
It knew, somehow.
a month later,
said I’m your man to care for.
Remember the gibbous wobbling on the lake?
Like the funhouse bone of a ghost dog
Over my cousin’s wedding reception, it waned.
We walked away from the pavilion,
seeking other cover.
The band echoed
through the oaks, reeds and sawgrass, the gravel
shore where we sat on your jacket, kissing
as if throats kept abandoned wishes
and I hadn’t said
I love your smile
after the garter landed on your head.
It’s all right, I replied before hanging up,
checking the lock for rust, groans, swelling,
any sign that lies leave
when we exhale and linger
to risk exposure.
Ben Kline (he/him) lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. Author of the chapbooks SAGITTARIUS A* and DEAD UNCLES, Ben was the 2021 recipient of Patricia Goedicke Prize in Poetry. His work is forthcoming or can be found in THRUSH, CutBank, fourteen poems, The Indianapolis Review, Olney Magazine, DIAGRAM, Hobart, and many other publications.