PoetryIssue 08 | February 2010

Two poems by Stephen Bunch


“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).


Read our current issue:


Two poems by Bonnie Bishop
Outside Ngaoundere by Aaron Brown
Watershed by Catherine Chandler
1955-D and 1945-S by Craig Cotter
Hyacinth by Dylan Crawford
Strays by Judy Darley
Freedom Fries by Krista Genevieve Farris
City Lights, Dirty Window by Janna Layton
The Road to Managua by Wilda Morris
Edinburgh, Alone by Stephanie Papa
Two poems by Eugenia Hepworth Petty
Four poems by Christine Potter
Next to the River by Jeremy Radin
Another Art by Susanna Rich
Five poems from Shoshauna Shy
Three poems by R L Swihart
Two poems by Rimas Uzgiris

Postcard prose

Gritsev Calls by Jeremy Radin
The Last Gentleman by Eldon Reishus

Travel notes

The Pond by Ariana Nadia Nash
So There They Were at the Beach Again, Looking Around by Janice D. Soderling