He said loving me was hard in the end,
like Play-Doh mostly pressed through
the small asterisk of your Fun Factory,
when it becomes a matter of muscle:
you against plastic and your own best
packing skills. That night I dreamed
a giant stole my sleeping flesh, jammed
it into a too-small trunk. And then this
enormous headache, like my pelvis
was being born through my eye.
When I flexed again in the light
I was a bright pink snake, foot-long
star anise. Freedom! I thought
but then I felt the force above me
start to quake and sweat. My posterior
grew thinner—like, Here Comes my Tail!
Like, Here I Come in the Cool Grass!
But the giant would not relent.
I heard a booming voice above me
swear: “I will not end you, snake.”
Karyna McGlynn is the author of I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl, winner of the Kathryn A. Morton Prize from Sarabande Books. Her poems have appeared in Fence, Salt Hill, Columbia Poetry Review, Subtropics, Court Green, Ninth Letter and Phoebe. Karyna received her MFA from the University of Michigan, and is currently a PhD candidate in Literature & Creative Writing at the University of Houston. She is the Managing Editor of Gulf Coast and coordinator of the Houston Indie Book Fest and Gulf Coast Reading Series.