Though she said it was only a fishing village

her mouth befuddled me                         why she felt the need
            to tell me her genes                                spangled in taxidermy
                        know me so well                                      or how I feel about
                                   cussing & crawfish                                    to say as if in shame
                                                every woman’s                                         trousseau comes
                                   with an ancient dish                                  of Brach’s butterscotch
                        candy she is forever                                obliged to offer me
            saying there’s a small                            artillery under the sofa
ruffle & to preface with                            I hope you like wild turkey
            or even have to ask                               whether you brought
                        apricot nail polish                                    remover & a push-up
                                   bra if you can bear to                               stomach the thought
                                                like I’d ever refuse                                   a Newport from
                                   a relative stranger                                    or mind old men
                       rubbing DEET                                          behind my knees
            over losing a game                                of badminton we’ll go
& clean his old boat                                 & sleep on this foldout
            with pepperoni hiccups                          & QVC flickering
                       in earnest only without                             sound the overworked    
                                  icemaker trembling                                   in the sunburst kitchen
                                                sleepless like I might                              not love the dog

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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, as well as two chapbooks. Her poems have recently appeared in The Literary Review, Court Green, Salt Hill, Subtropics, and The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day. 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 for the Houston Indie Book Fest and Gulf Coast Reading Series.