It Was Never Supposed to Be Ours: Poetry by Ben Kline

It Was Never Supposed to Be Ours

Our uncles were silent and buried,
the internet infant, drag queens
still used names like Fonda Peters

and bowls of free condoms
glowed on the bar of the Driftwood
when I promised to keep you

safe, supplied with Twizzlers
and good gin, warm not sweaty
when we spooned nude,

your body like the long L
of my last name under yours
when we signed the lease.

Cousins, we told the landlord.
We had no idea. How could we
under all the eulogies, waterfalls

buffering one line at a time,
your reverend calling us
fags, the Clintons resembling

hope, maybe change when you
unlocked the door. It’s musty
but it’s ours, that old attic

with two windows. We had
no idea. Our uncles marched
into graves our grandmothers

left no lilies on. You made me
banana pancakes, crispy bacon,
and a decent proposal,

the tungsten ring in my mimosa
a blue wish I wanted to shout
when it touched my lips.

—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