Brad Reyes 2004 All Rights Reserved

Dixon Hanging

Because I found my dyslexic cousin
hanging from the tree branch like a dead “J,”
        my childhood is overdue—
        it blows like a black sweater
against the storm shutters. I fall in love
with men whose heads are twisting
hornets hives—their mouths
steep in open mason jars.
My legs are tea towels, long blue slings.
Dixon fills them with flat river stones,
winding his freckled arm in violence:
        The hill country hears you, honey,
        it will weave you into its hot nest.

Home lords its blasted center over you—
pulls its heft up the spine, that salty rope.
        Your past piles up ramshackle—
        a long grain elevator. I can see
Dixon’s tongue flapping against that tin
like an orange flag—eyes corrugated,
        ankles tagged with burr.
        Down there, somewhere,
a front door propped open with a cinderblock—
screen like a sieve, sticky with wasp wings.
Inside, always someone humming,
        hoarding black-tooth combs to tame
        a cousin’s slender curling neck.


Karyna McGlynn
Copyright 2004


Karyna McGlynn is a writer and photographer living in Seattle. Her work has recently appeared in Wisconsin Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, GoodFoot, Poetry Midwest, Porcupine, Coal City Review, and Absinthe Literary Review. She attends the Creative Writing Program at Seattle University.

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