Beyond the Fires
Here’s what they carried in their parade:
flags so light they floated without wind.
Their voices carried too,
rubbing against streetlights and stores.
A girl touched their song, and her face
disappeared. She grew wings, her hands
folded into patterns of light. In their arms
they carried bundles of rags, their boots
dragged on pavement, their eyes burned.
All their fathers died long ago in the quiet
of night. They were orphans, with faces
of lead. They were mourners and builders
of funeral mounds. They carried
the darkness of graves. They were fish
swimming in a turbulent sea, a colorful herd
sweeping the plains. They were shadows
flailing against solid brick. In the sky,
a dead moon, like a burned-out eye.
Beyond the fires, they were smoke,
smudges on pots, an absence burned into air.
about the writer
Steve Klepetar lives in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. His work has appeared worldwide in such journals as Boston Literary Magazine, Chiron,Deep Water, Expound, Muddy River Poetry, Red River Review, Snakeskin, Voices Israel, Ygdrasil, and many others. Several of his poems have been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize (including four in 2016). New collections include A Landscape in Hell (Flutter Press), Family Reunion (Big Table Publishing), and How Fascism Comes to America (Locofo Chaps).