Ben Kline

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Ben Kline

The Part I Know

We have seen what we thought was unseeable
rendered the orange of an old stove coil.

How else to best portray what is not there
than to use what is: light, color, particular
words like buoy, spacetime, adrift, still
lake, midnight. I might

transform it into a poem about a blizzard funeral,
or a slick thumb tugging my bottom
lip, a waxing crescent
hovering, a quick lover’s smile.
Or bags of wet potting soil, waiting
blue tulips, a man undressing
while I watch, a nebula
abandoning shapelessness

to beam into the dark part I imagine
tastes like copper when my teeth forget their roots
and race over the orange, the part I know,

the part they circle on the slide, This
is a black hole, the beginning
of the end of all things we can
and cannot name. I might

prefer it continue as a misheard whisper
or terrifying shiver, a ghost, or better,
nothing of known words.

Ben Kline reads “The Part I Know”

Ben Kline lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. His chapbook SAGITTARIUS A* lands in October 2020 from Sibling Rivalry Press. A poetry reader for The Adroit Journal and Flypaper Lit, he is the 2020 recipient of the Christopher Hewitt Award for poetry, as well as a finalist for both the 2020 Donald Hall Prize for Poetry and the 2020 National Poetry Series. His work can be found in The Night Heron Barks, Lunch Ticket, No Contact, DIAGRAM, Hobart, Juked, A&U Magazine, and many other publications. You can read more at