Patient

Take your time, Frank told
the cutstone trainer untying
his white swimsuit. Poppers
hovered under the briny draft.

Your journey is the point
of any goal
. Nude, the trainer
snickered. Between his knees
santorum stained the comforter.

In the next room, my current
lover snored through high sea rise,
beach erosion another memory
of boys gaunt enough to count

their days by the vein. Imagine
being at that horizon, peering.
Take yours, Frank insisted, biotin
and tenofovir on the table. Time

advances the same as men counting
blue and pink, violet pressing orange
into ocean. You have time, he said,
and it has you against the wall,

sweat down your back. Ask it to
release you. Ask if tomorrow comes
around like the trainer, leaving
after, another unseen bruise.

—Ben Kline


Ben Kline lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, writing poems and telling stories, drinking more coffee than might seem wise. His chapbook SAGITTARIUS A* will be published in 2020 by Sibling Rivalry Press. He reads poetry for FLYPAPER LIT. His work is forthcoming or has recently appeared in The Cortland Review, DIAGRAM, Hobart, Juked, Alien Magazine, Bending Genres, Impossible Archetype and many more. You can read more at https://benklineonline.wordpress.com/.