Peter Kline



I like the creases of you, the lobes and flaps and folds, the unctuous junctions,

the overlaps and sticky ripples, the woozy crevasses.

I like the knobs of you, the grips and nibs and baubles and fleshy bubbles, the

squishy tips and buttony bits and the hard stops.

I like the bones of you, the wrist rubble, the basso rumble, the swanned

bassoon, the tin-can sturdiness of your hips and the ridge-line shins.

I like the stink of you, the armpits' vinegar pink before a bath, the sourdough

pith, the fever-water, the heady morning-after mash.

I like the thought of you, the dorsal-fin suggestion of your name, your deep

            seclusions, even in the next room,

Even in my lap as a rock-chunk gut-shot can't-talk-back-jack fact.

Poem with a Five O'clock Shadow


I hang up my good clothes, redeploy my books.

I Windex ants in the stickiness,

brandish a broom halfheartedly

at two pigeons cozying above the breezeway.


For the fruit flies I make no excuses.

Red-goggled copulating

opportunists crotch-sniffing beer bottles

and kiwi rinds, any stinking thing.


Then the hours come rabbling in

with their cigarette burns and their cups outstretched.

I do what I can.  I please the first with cream,

but these five smirk at anything but gin.


Call me the bedwrecker, the ruthless

rainwatcher.  Call me fat-lipped joy.

I put my lover on a plane this morning.

Separate.  Still practicing.


Peter Kline's poetry has appeared in Ploughshares, Tin House, Poetry, Crab Orchard Review, Crazyhorse, ZYZZYVA, and elsewhere.  He is the recipient of a 2008 Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Poetry Writing, as well as the 2010 Morton Marr Prize from Southwest Review.



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