because they say love they think they can’t hurt you

When Someone Says I Love You the Whole
Karyna McGlynn

room fills up with iced tea, something
gives: the sun peels from your window, a sugared
lemon, whole, flaming, hanging
there—You tell them they must:
puncture your chest with a straw to
suck all the empty out, but because
they say love they think they can’t
hurt you, even to save your life, which
is why you float up up up knocking
your curled toes
and bedeviled breath hard
against the tea-
stained ceiling, why you
swim sentry over the oxheart that
flooded your bed, hollowed you
out. See it there: big and bobbing
wax fruit, sweating with the effort of
its own improbable being, each
burst of wetness a cry to which you are
further beholden, a sweetness trained
against your own best alchemy—
Witch, you can only watch this
bloodletting from above, can only
amend the deed to your body: see
it say it back, see it like a little rabbit
with a twist on its neck and wish you
could be that, being had, being
held, but instead you grow wooden
and spin on your back. Propeller? No,
there is no getting away from this,
and so: ceiling fan, drowning their
hushed joy,
going schwa schwa schwa in
the bed’s sheath of late afternoon


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