• Michael

    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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