Franklin Free Clinic

Edgar Kunz

Fall 2017

She drops the tooth
in the pan, packs my cheek
to sop the blood. I’m
telling her about the mole
on my hand I’m sure
is cancer. Runs
in my family. My aunt
with the scar smeared
between her breasts.
My grandfather’s bones
riddled with it.
She tells me to relax.
I’m fine. I’m not fine,
and she pretends
not to hear. I try
telling her about my ex,
the pale seam
at her throat where
after months
of mysterious sickness,
after thrush, fever, bone-
deep pain, they lifted
a mass slick
as an avocado pit.
I shape my hands
to show the largeness of it.
I tell her how I’d lie
awake at night and look.
How my own throat caught.
She pulls the cotton
from my mouth, coughs
into her elbow. Hands me
two tiny

Edgar Kunz is a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. His poems appear in AGNI, Narrative, New England Review, Gulf Coast, and other places.

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