David Duer – Lost – 1

What They’ve Lost

by David Duer

For Ava and Emily

The boys in their pickup trucks
thought she looked fine
under the fluorescent lights
of the gasoline pumps.

And told her so in no uncertain terms.
They stood with pockets hanging out
and shamelessly admired the way she
leaned into the lonesome light,

like some Hopper painting.
She reminded them of something
they’d lost, and were able to look for
only where it was easiest to find.


David Duer’s work has been published in Ascent, Exquisite Corpse, Milkweed Chronicle, The North American Review, English Journal, and Poetry, among others. A chapbook of his poetry, To Bread, has been published by Coffee House Press. He is presently an English Language Arts teacher and advisor for the Washington Literary Press at Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.