“Before Anything Happened the House Had No Skeleton” by Karyna McGlynn

I haven’t posted a poem from a different writer I admire in quite some time. This selection, and the overall book of poetry it comes from, is intriguing to me because of its element of mystery and the significant imagery and detail that is illustrated throughout. Hope you all enjoy!



the termites had deboned the thing

it was clean there was no saving it


in one bedroom a dresser with blue drawers

its peg-legs rested on pure membrane


a girl just stood in her underwear

ran the tips of her fingers over her ribs


thought greyhound no one knew no explaining

why she didn’t fall through the floor


the kids were drinking beer in the yard

the tetherball rope caught one girl’s throat


her mother’s face obscured

behind the porch screen the mesquite shadow


no one could make her out

her feet rested on hot sashes of dust


the sounds on the television were far away

as that big caliche mound looked like a waving man


the president got shot

the boards stayed together for another three days


it was a matter of apathy or swelling

or everyone was too hot to move



– taken from I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl (2009)

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