Men forget everything

Show me u!!!
Must I peel myself again
like a soggy Florida navel
falling through your open fingers
without my armor, my white
spine splitting like your willing thighs?
Or are you thinking bananas
and eggplants?

You’ve seen me naked. Twice.
Men forget everything
except ache and other slights
perceived, and with additional age
they sag like a scrotum elongating or
a no, oft repeated, because gravity
is cruel and cruel is inevitable.

ur profile makes me wsh I wuz age apprprate
Fifteen over, fifteen under and it’s
the plot of a truck stop paperback
in any direction on the grid, meaning
more to gird down, matches a game
of tense disagreement, like bees
swarming from a splashed nest,
seeking dry flesh to inflame.

Who said you aren’t?
But he makes no reply, his green dot
goes orange as if the aren’t were
inadvertent code-switching,
as if a moth alit his tongue
mid-sentence, as he was not
about to say i loved u, once…


Ben Kline lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, writing poems and telling stories, drinking more coffee than might seem wise. His work is forthcoming or has recently appeared in Pidgeonholes, Graviton Lit, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Risk Magazine, petrichor, Riggwelter, Grist Online, Trailer Park Quarterly, Rappahannock Review, Toe Good and many more. You can read more at

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