8 April 2006 | Vol. 6, No. 1

Erin with the Feathered Hair

In summer, I remember where I'm from and why

my knees smell like yellow onions—

why you, Erin, are standing in my living room

straddling your brother's outgrown Huffy—

you want me back in the cul-de-sac badlands.

Your hair is fresh-feathered and you are showing off

your air-conditioned underwear, a Weiner's six-pack,

a stolen margarita lip gloss in your snatching hand.

I know: it's hot and I never left.

You run to my closet and cut all the necks out,

never asked and never will,

would I like a red cigarette?

When no one is looking, I twist in the sheets and—

What do you think? Am I a Roxy Music album cover?

I can iron out my voice, but still, I am field stock,

body a rebar, you remind and remind me,

wrenching my freckled towhead out of hiding,

smearing my body in bright orange paint & profanity,

flinging open my cupboards and sneering,

What's in the shoebox? Something bad?

In the Summer you unpeel my northern pretense,

leave me quivering in a glitter tube top

as you unlock the liquor cabinet and give me the keys

to a duplex kingdom that you swear is rightfully mine.

About the author:

Karyna McGlynn is originally from Austin, Texas. Her poems have appeared in Connecticut Review, Rosebud, The Pedestal Magazine, Cimarron Review, Hotel Amerika, Good Foot, Wisconsin Review, and Verse. A three-time Pushcart nominee and graduate of the creative writing program at Seattle University, Karyna was recently nominated for the Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship. She is currently pursuing her MFA at the University of Michigan, where she has been awarded the Cornwell Fellowship in Poetry.

For further reading:

Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 6, No. 1, where "Erin with the Feathered Hair" ran on April 8, 2006. List other work with these same labels: poetry.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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