Karyna McGlynn

A screwdriver, she says, she's eleven

Her voice, pure husk, room damp
with the open-mouthed memory
of her ton of sleeping brothers—
A smell you can put your finger in:
sweet socks and peppered ham
and when you go home you’ll go
understanding something you can’t:
they share this same bed she’s now
stretched across in bluebell panties,
pouring Smirnoff into her Sunny-D,
telling me terrible things I can never
unknow: throat revving its engines
of attention, a girl tottering along the lip
of a bluff in her mother’s hot blue pumps.
She is a laundry basket of blackberries,
left too long in the sun, her skin closing
around the thing it opens inside me.
The plaintive whir of the faucet, the fan:
I lie right down beside her, looking up
into the heavy cumulus clouds of her
teddy-bear nets: bodies pulled whole
from the humid sea of her childhood—
so full, the sky threatens to break itself
over our hungry, drunken heads.