For the Love of Endings, by Ben Purkert
Playlist by Four Way Books 5 poems
Hotel sex, online matches, and ex encounters: Ben Purkert explores love and love lost in this selection from his new book. "For The Love of Endings" will be released next month by Four Way Books. We're excited to offer you this preview, with links to order from Four Way and Amazon.
1. The Words I Failed to Be
Ben Purkert
2. Like an Animal Cut Roughly in Half
Ben Purkert
3. In Hotels, Sex Flings Itself Open
Ben Purkert
4. Online Match
Ben Purkert
5. Running Into The Ex
Ben Purkert
I’ll rip off this Coke label to reveal my love life: the ones I like

enough, the ones I adore but can’t ever close. I’m drawn

again to the frozen-food aisle: is this where I meet my new self,

shuddering inside a box of waffles? Hey, a closeout on ice cream,

maybe I’ll pile up on rocky road? I won’t mince anything:

not the breakup, not hours before, each minute snapping shut

on my wrist. I won’t dwell on what I said, only the words

I failed to be. A watermelon, a half-off watermelon, it’s over:

because I love the seeds, I spit them out.
When person A splits from B, silence walks into the room.


Clock hands inch toward, then away from the sky.

Tables drag their claw feet on the carpet.


Even the mind holds weight, a center of gravity:

somewhere to reach for, to dig & dig deeper.


Until mounds of red earth spring up.

Until the hole takes on groundwater, echoing a well.


Soon a fresh city emerges, a system of pipes, a boatload

of sex shops, people starting over.


They swipe onto trains. They flood parks with kids.

They strip down a kitchen, put in an island.
the king bed pours out
its frame to the dark

its pillows like a surprise
rock jetty & this time

let’s leave the TV on
to watch us    yes

let’s feel its eyes
burning up your back

first then mine &
we’re a knot pulled in

all directions so nothing
can escape not even

our minds reaching
up & up for the ceiling

where hot air lightly
presses its face
Hello, you’re now being viewed. Q: How many floors does your body have?
A: I fall hard for the perimeter of a girl. Drag your mouse over the picture
to show depth. Deflect the age question with a swift turn. Bury the ex
in run-on sentences. Say you’d like more little ones than you’d like. Then
sprinkle white lies over coffee. Lock arms around an iceberg wedge with
light dressing. If you grow apart, be the bigger person by an inch.
I wasn’t expecting you says a tree to the cloud
I tapped your phone says the cloud
Take a hike says the tree

(Mountains & a moth weigh thoughts of each other)
(The sky runs all the way around earth)

Give back my dog says the cloud
Go chew his toys says the tree

(TV pressures the world into diamonds)
(Out of nowhere, the sky spits out a breeze)

Let’s fly says the tree
Into what says the cloud