Once piss halos gold on the sheet
that’s the beginning of sorrow.
We never let go again. We squeeze
the caterpillar too tight in our hand.
We abuse our grape-scented pencil
in huffs & chuffs of erasure.
We prefer our flowers on a stick
so they won’t fall down. We become
sippy-cup sluts. Our weird struts
have the kinks ironed out.
This distress turns to bleach
when we wash our dirties.
Greenbean tips must be snipped
The sudden deflation of a sky-blue
balloon farting through the room.
It takes so much unlearning to know
our old gold piss-joy—
To wear it like a warm, wet skirt
and still say hello to the neighbors.
To sip the champagne of beers
straight from a flute in nothing
but a wink & a tutu.
To stand—cock out—in a pool,
proud & pointing like a dog
on the scent of a sitting duck
in a glut of duckweed
& wheeeeee let it go.
Karyna McGlynn is the author of Hothouse (Sarabande Books 2017), I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl (Sarabande Books 2009), and several chapbooks including The 9-Day Queen Gets Lost on Her Way to the Execution (Willow Springs Editions 2016). Her poems have recently appeared in The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Black Warrior Review, Ninth Letter, Georgia Review, Witness, and The Academy of American Poet’s Poem-A-Day. Karyna holds an MFA from the University of Michigan, and earned her PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston. She was recently the Diane Middlebrook Fellowship in Poetry at the University of Wisconsin and is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Christian Brothers University in Memphis.