All I’ve ever really wanted to do is walk
down Madison with a full bush in a fur coat,
plus a clutch & a look
of Horror. I’ve wanted
my hair dark brown & full
as my bush. I’ve wanted to shake hands
with henna & hold forth in an Oscar
de la Renta. I’ve wanted my heels to sound
on the sidewalk like a pissed-off teacher
who already told you to write in silence.
I’ve wanted a smoky eye & nails forged
in a vat of molten copper. I’ve wanted
an attaché chained to my wrist & a tennis
bracelet & sense of ennui. I’ve wanted
to warm my thighs on the terracotta
& I’ve stared at stone & steel to steal
its glint & fortitude in the face of disinterest.
I’ve changed my address without telling you
& I’ve locked myself out & rattled the grates.
I’ve whistled through my teeth
for taxis & gone to bed petulantly
hungry. I’ve become walking blade & billow,
animal swathed in dead animal.
I’ve towered & clicked & connived & cooked
Stromboli because you said I Couldn’t.
I’ve been a plucked pea hen & now
I’m collecting skins. I’ll start with yours.
I’m walking toward you, nude in t-straps.
My full bush glistens with dew. I’ve felt
Dawn kiss my Temples with Flame
& you call this my Walk of Shame.
Karyna McGlynn is the author of Hothouse (Sarabande 2017), The 9-Day Queen Gets Lost on Her Way to the Execution (Willow Springs 2016), and I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl (Sarabande 2009). She is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Christian Brothers University in Memphis.