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Karyna McGlynn

When Someone Says I Love You

the whole room fills up with iced tea, something gives: the sun peels
from your window, a sugared lemon, whole, flaming, hanging there.
You tell them they must: puncture your chest with a straw to suck
all the empty out, but because they say love they think they can’t
hurt you, even to save your life, which is why you float up up up,
knocking your curled toes and bedeviled breath hard against the tea-
stained ceiling, why you swim sentry over the oxheart that flooded
your bed, hollowed you out. See it there: big and bobbing wax fruit,
sweating with the effort of its own improbable being, each burst of
wetness a cry to which you are further beholden, a sweetness trained
against your own best alchemy. Witch, you can only watch this
bloodletting from above, can only amend the deed to your body: see
it say it back, see it like a little rabbit with a twist on its neck and
wish you could be that, being had, being held, but instead you grow
wooden and spin on your back. Propeller? No, there is no getting
away from this, and so: ceiling fan, drowning their hushed joy,
going schwa schwa schwa in the bed’s sheath of late afternoon

Karyna McGlynn, Hothouse. (Sarabande Books, June 13, 2017)

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