Devil’s Lake

Spring 2010 Issue

Karyna McGlynn: Prereq

Can’t tell you why but I’m required to

love each of the men in this room …

—she caught her breath like she was going

to slip "you slu …!" but pulled the wings off

instead turned inward / a blanched peach (the way women do)

in her batik print dress

the long-legged ermine of patience (no, tact)

got up from the table, excused itself

I put this bonbon in my mouth / think it’s full of crude

What I wanted to say is wearing sexier pants / moving away from me

like a black Madonna, not my heritage

I checked under the plucked typewriter key / each man’s jewel

—she had a look like, "hel-lo, I’m here … ?"

I’m sorry, I said (rapping my knuckle against a testicle)

I’m trying to find where my will resides

KARYNA McGLYNN’s first book, I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl, won the 2008 Kathryn A Morton Prize in Poetry from Sarabande Books. She is the author of several chapbooks including Alabama Steve and the forthcoming collaborations Small Shrines (Cinematheque Press, 2010). Her poems have appeared in Fence, Octopus, Denver Quarterly, Columbia Poetry Review, Copper Nickel, Lumberyard and Forklift, Ohio. Karyna was recently the Claridge Writer-in-Residence at Illinois College. She currently teaches at Concordia University and edits L4: The Journal of the New American Epigram with Adam Theriault in Austin, Texas. More from this issue >