Edgar Kunz

Winter 2017

If we met up in the iced-over lot at the neighborhood’s edge
we were kids in—grid of low-slung ranches sunk
under the lengthening shadows of larch and pine,
each street slanted toward the state building where our folks
collected their checks on the first of each month—

and if your eyes were glossed with oxys and a week
without sleep, body a loose frame of copper piping propped
under your over-sized coat, and we stood, face to face—
Michael, what would be left between us? What would remain
of the time we tunneled under chainlink

after the Sanborn’s house burned down, slipping
between the brick pallets and front-end loaders, looking
for something to claim? Or that July we worked stripping kudzu
and poison oak from your side-yard on the promise of a few bucks
from your dad, our longsleeves matted with pine pitch and sweat?

We found a yellowjacket nest, a paper lantern buried deep
in the brake. You dared me to hit it with a wiffle ball bat
and I did and the yellowjackets stitched my chest and arms with fire.

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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