Breaking and Entering – by Steve Klepetar

With my pen, I’ve broken into a thousand houses,
strolled through living rooms, great rooms,
down hallways, letting my feet settle into carpets
or rugs, or stamping over hardwood floors.
I’ve opened closets, nestled warm coats, slid
my hands along silk dresses, searched out piles
of sweaters, read amusing text on tee-shirts
until my eyes burned and my throat scraped
like sand. In bathrooms, I’ve opened medicine
chests, handled amber-colored bottles of pills,
read labels to discern conditions and disease.
How well I know these people, what itches
and what aches, the nightly struggle to sleep.
I hear their voices woven in curtains speaking
in low tones, complaining about infrequent
visits, two weeks out of the long year. I smell
the coffee, which they’ve burnt like an offering
to a minor god. When I leave, waving
to neighbors, pulling shut the heavy door, I take
nothing. I am not a thief, except of auras left on
pillows where some head lay, quiet and heavy as a stone.


Steve Klepetar‘s work has received several nominations Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, including four in 2016. Recent collections include My Son Writes a Report on the Warsaw Ghetto, The Li Bo Poems, Family Reunion, and A Landscape in Hell.