Laura Klinkon

Laura Klinkon


I know your language


I know your language

but I don’t like you—

cautiously smiling,

sensing part of me isn’t

agreeable.  Well, it’s

head to head with impressions

we have built: me, I’m lazy,

lacking clarity;  you, intolerably

sharp and busy, sometimes as a

busybody blasting me

for taking all things slowly;

What am I waiting for? you ask.

There’s not so much to pe-

ne-trate!  Why bother when a

twinkly sunshine sham

of neighbor love is all that is

required to keep aloft mirages

of affection.  Side by side,

occasionally as needed we will

soon enough discover who we are

and then commit to liking us forever—

ugh, never, says my sloth-like pacing.

It’s all about beliefs and habits:

What are yours?  It’s all about de-

ciding if you trust enough to tell

the truth; I know I tell the truth

too much, perhaps…, who needs it?

Let us smile at god’s creation and the

crazy odds we share dividers in this

holy hell hotel.  We needn’t plumb the depths,

only measure how we split the power—no,

not the heat—it’s always

summer here, or spring at least,

and if the kitchen smells don’t mingle

well, we’ll just turn up our fans.  It’s

possible to do—without regret.

Why go beyond our fine devices for

decorum and good cheer?  It’s okay,

I think, to share one beer.

Laura Klinkon was born in Sicily, emigrating with her parents at five years old. She has a B.A. and M.A. in Literature and Languages from the University of Pittsburgh and American University, respectively, and has worked in editing, writing, and translating in Washington, D.C., New York City, and Rochester, N.Y. She has published a full-length book of poetry, Trying to Find You (2013), and two chapbooks, Kitchen Abrasives (2017) and Looking Askance (2017).  Laura was recently granted a translation residence by the Library of Rome, and will soon publish the resulting collection of sonnets in a book entitled The Silent Lyre/La Lira Silente.