I've Lost Poems

like teeth
and coins
and blood

I once lost poems
in your lovely room
your walls painted
with scenes of swamps
and your floors tiled
with mosaics of Jesus

I’m not crazy
I told you
I saw children
with blood on places
they didn’t want to know

And you hung curtains
with fabric of the flag
while I was in Da Nang
losing poems for peace of mind

Now it’s forty years later
and you look the same
and your room is still so lovely
What’s your name?

Steven Kunert, who grew up on the Texas-Mexico border and got literary training in the vast nowhereness of the desert and intense somewhereness of back streets in El Paso and Juarez, has published prose and poetry stretching back for 30 years in publications such as The Starving Artist Times, Dude, Rio Grande Review, The Oregonian, and more recently in Word Riot, decomP, Six Sentences, American Satellite Magazine and Poetry Super Highway.