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After Edgar Kunz’s “Piano”¹


My father is the kind of dying
that acts as reminder. When I call
I can hear, through clearness, breath.
All the signs of the living he does
are dying signs. He is a messenger.
I wish I could drag his body
sled-bound, onward, over snow
to places where I lived. The barn.
I would go there first. Papa,
here is the place where the world
became a place I would go. Here
I felt safe in the surrounding slats.
This is where I whir back in my dreams
when living becomes this thing
I am doing, and I have to explain it
to myself over and over again. The barn.
I walk out of it and over a bridge.
Here. Welcome to my apartment,
my first one, on 7th Ave in Fairbanks.
There are holes in the toes of my shoes.
They have become worn but I want
to keep them. The wall paint has this
language where yellow indicates age.
And I don’t know what furniture is
but I have everybody else’s here.
That couch belonged to someone
who paid for a newer one and here
it lives. You can sit there. We can
drink gin together, revel in the bitter,
be alive together, and not say a word.
I will pull you all the way to Iowa
where I thought grass was artificial.
It was really just crickets being alive
and for the first time, to me. They sung.
Yes, I ate food that others threw away,
threw my body on the ten-mile loop,
and flew back and forth for too long.
Next stop is this place called New York.
Fort Drum, Watertown where I lived
with a man who was considered
a geographic bachelor by the US Army.
What I thought was loving him
was loving that I was alive, learning
my own possibilities. I still love him.
You can watch me cook him a meal.
You can watch as he tries to love me
and a dog at the same time. See, it is
too much for him. I want to take you
everywhere I’ve been and show you
that I was being and there. We do not
have time for the complexities of Texas.
I was alive in Mississippi but did not
feel like it. We can make it a quick stop.
Maryland. Virginia. Maryland.
I want to show you how I was
in the world. Our sled can get muddy.
I will hold you together as long as I can.
I will call that forever. I think I am
that poem . . . falling out of tune . . .
good something, morning, afternoon,
whatevs . . . love²



  1. “Piano,” by Edgar Kunz, The New Yorker, October 31, 2022.
  2.  Italicized lines at the end are from a text message from my father.

About the Author

Eran Eads is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa and completed a BA and a BT at University of Alaska. He is an adjunct instructor at UAF & UMGC and is currently attending the the University of Maryland. Eran has not been published in Poetry. Hello, Jill Osier.