• 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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