• Safety

    Edgar Kunz

    Winter 2018

    My brother shows me
    the iron-sights. The dark O
    of the muzzle. The grip.
    Describes the caliber
    the diameter of the holes
    they hollow, how the copper
    jackets bloom. Presses
    its weight to my palm, says
    they make the real thing
    in runs of a hundred
    thousand. Ideal, he says.
    Light, and cheap.
    His hands on mine, steers
    the open mouth toward
    his window, the neighbor’s
    place beyond it, then
    toward the bedroom where
    our mother is sleeping.
    I want to keep us
    safe, he says. I ask what
    he means. Crickets
    string out their thin music
    between the duplexes
    and brick-front ranches
    of our block. A late rain
    slicks the patched-
    over street. Our motion
    light flickers on,
    and the blacktop shines.

    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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