Len Kuntz


What’s the mat­ter with you?” she asks.
Years ago I had a lot of time and would answer such idi­ot­ic ques­tions.  She was thin then, and used mas­cara, blush.  Now everything’s loose and nat­ur­al and I don’t like it one bit.  Even the dogs are different.

Voices Carry

In the rain, fat-assed drops land like liq­uid bombs on our lips and lash­es.  We hide beneath the bel­ly of Granddad’s tree, shak­ing, shiv­er­ing, soaked.  By the porch swing a wisp of gun smoke strug­gles to rise through the thick wet air.  We watch it twirl togeth­er.  We catch the col­or of his black­ber­ry eyes and it stunts our breath, our growth.
“Shhh,” I say.  “Maybe this is just a dream.”

My Neighbor, the Nudist

Mornings he walks.  A decent stride, with his bits flop­ping, every­thing for the tak­ing, a Gilligan hat and san­dals the only skin­less garb.  Listen to him whis­tle, so hap­py and sure.  Even the dogs do not bark and the birds they swirl and chat­ter grate­ful gos­sip.  On week­ends he wax­es his old Corvair wear­ing noth­ing but black socks and Converse.  You say how despi­ca­ble it is, but I see you watch when you clean Jenny’s room upstairs.  I see how brave you think he is.