Poem of the Week

Tuning

Edgar Kunz

I pull the last radishes
then bed the boxes down

with hay. This is the season
of distances: weak light

in the lilacs, muffled bass
in the idling Accord.

My father a plaque that rises
barely above the grass.

That last time strangely
available: vinyl booth, castanets

from a jukebox we couldn’t see
and the pale underside

of his wrist flashing . . . .
Cleaning out his apartment,

I found a watch
in his underwear drawer,

chipped bezel, leather band
worn thin. It belonged

to his father. Once, as a kid,
I watched him press the cool

back of it to his ear, then
his cheek, I didn’t understand.

I bend and gather up
the bitter greens. My old Trek

clutters the doorway, gray
flecked with gold. Another loop

I’m caught in: suffering
and calibration. The punishing

miles, then the hours adjusting
the neatly clicking gears.

Edgar Kunz is the author of Tap Out, a New York Times New & Noteworthy pick. A former Stegner fellow and NEA fellowship recipient, he lives in Baltimore, where he teaches at Goucher College. His second collection, Fixer, is forthcoming from Ecco/HarperCollins.
Originally published:
June 15, 2022

Featured

Community

Finding company on and off the page
Carl Phillips

Conversations

Emily Ogden and Dana Spiotta

Reckoning with middle age and complicity
Emily Ogden
and
Dana Spiotta

The Stakes of Dictee

An introduction to a famously difficult work
Ken Chen

You Might Also Like



Poem of the Week

The Math Campers

Dan Chiasson