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PoetryIssue 8 | February 2010

Two poems by Stephen Bunch

Occupations

“They have no true home as hunger and the enemy pursue them from every side.” (Father Dominguez, 1776)

Abiquiú is what’s left
after the slaves were freed
and enslaved and freed again,
until they couldn’t return to their people,
Paiute, Comanche, Kiowa, Pawnee, then land
granted, Genízaros, “new troops,” to serve,
muchas gracias, the governor.

After O’Keeffe stopped painting,
but before the ravens above
the White Place cease their cries,
Abiquiú is what remains of sunlight

along the line of the muezzin’s evening call
from the spice trader’s mosque
beyond the arroyo
to the newly-mudded morada

across the highway from Bode’s
General Merchandise,
where ristras, “live minnows,”
and a Jesus Action Figure
with Glow-in-the-Dark Hands
await bored travelers.

Next to a mailbox on the way out of town
a basin of bleached bones
sits on a sand-pitted washing machine.

The Chama’s swell subsides
after July rains.
Tamarisk overtakes the cholla
along the irrigation ditches.
Jeeps with boat trailers move on.
Someone builds a new school
for someone else’s children.

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About the author

Stephen Bunch lives and writes in Lawrence, Kansas. His poems have appeared recently in Ithaca Lit: Lit with Art, Mudlark, Rootdrinker, Read his chapbook, Preparing to Leave (the title poem of which first appeared in The Literary Bohemian).

 

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First Day in Sydney, 1992 by Catherine Bull
Two Poems by Laurie Byro
Seamstress by Krista Genevieve Farris
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Transcendental Nocturne by Colin Honnor
Newport Mansions, Observed from the Cliff Walk by Jean L. Kreiling
Gifts: Naxos by April Lindner
Two poems by Gary Maggio
10-100 by Bradley K Meyer
Two Poems by Kassandra Montag
Microclimates by Lisa Ortiz
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