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Curtis Bauer

Curtis Bauer is the author of two poetry collections: The Real Cause for Your Absence (C&R Press, 2013) and Fence Line (BkMk Press, 2004), winner of the 2003 John Ciardi Poetry Prize. A translator of Spanish poetry and prose, Bauer has published full-length collections of translated poetry by Jeannette L. Clariond, Juan Antonio González Iglesias, and Luis Muñoz. Bauer is the publisher and editor of Q Avenue Press Chapbooks, as well as the translations editor for both From the Fishhouse and Waxwing Journal. He teaches creative writing and literature at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.

By This Poet

4

Three Sketches of Anxiety

I’ve got two hands and an urge
to yank out your teeth,

my lover said, dropping the dress
she made from my shirt

to the floor, to see the landscape
a mouth of holes might look like
.

Maybe jagged potholes on a rainslick
street
, she said, climbing over

the bed. Maybe, she winked, a prairie
dog town in West Texas after a flood
.

Stupid Job

I’m a liar. It’s not a job
that pays well but I am
my own boss. My wife
brushes teeth. Hers. She
flosses, too. I’ve asked her
to do mine. Get a job,
she tells me. I have one.
I’m a liar, I tell her. We
look at each other, as if
we were paintings, as if
looking would make clear
some deep meaning,
make us smarter,
make us at least feel
better about ourselves.

Lines to a Friend in a Less Windy Place

Today I still don’t know
how to fly a kite, or let it
be flown, picked up
and assaulted by the gust
constant as sun rise
in this south that isn’t
south for those who live
here. I haven’t been swept
away either, by any face
or woman’s bare shoulder,
not even spring budding
again after a late freeze,
even though it’s more beautiful
the second time around. Like
that woman you told me about
who smiled once when you
met, and once when you both
turned to admire the distance
between you. She must have
had beautiful eyes, looked
at you without blinking,
squinting out any dust
that would be flying here.