Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 19 . . .

Exit Wounds

     poem by Stephen Bunch

          “It’s out, out, one’s going.” —Robert Creeley

A driftwood angel washed out

of the arroyo, anything green

gone into the sun.

A stars-and-stripes butterfly

decal departs in finished ambiguity

in the rear window of an old Ford pickup.

Fingers bent, then extended,

everything is edges, as the difference

between hand and mirror, regret

before it bleeds into dread,

ice cube and water.

Perhaps a page is torn

or missing here or there,

but the story still plays out

its diaspora of words.

A sign on an abandoned shack

says OPEN.


Stephen Bunch is a longtime resident of Lawrence, Kansas, where he edited and published the literary magazine Tellus in the 1970s and '80s. After a fifteen-year hiatus, he resumed writing poetry in 2005 and has since been published in Autumn Sky Poetry, The Externalist, The Literary Bohemian, Fickle Muses, Sea Stories, St. Vitus Press & Poetry Review, Touch: The Journal of Healing, and Umbrella. He was the 2008 recipient of the Langston Hughes Award for Poetry from the Lawrence Arts Center and Raven Books. His first chapbook, Cricket in My Shoe, is scheduled for publication this winter from The Lives You Touch Publications.

Dianne Wilson is a retired school librarian. She divides her time between Prairie Village, Kansas, and Taos, New Mexico.


© 2010 Stephen Bunch & Dianne Wilson

photo by Dianne Wilson