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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