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 canít 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  bedís  sheath of late afternoon light.
Copyright © 2013 by Karyna McGlynn. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on July 23, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Further Reading

Contemporary Love Poems
A Tyrant Seeks Conclusion in the Known Self
by Emily Kendal Frey
corydon & alexis, redux
by D. A. Powell
by Matthew Rohrer
by Matthew Rohrer
by Pura López-Colomé
Footprint on Your Heart
by Gary Lenhart
Happy first anniversary (in anticipation of your thirty ninth)
by Bob Hicok
Hey You
by Adrian Blevins
Holding Pattern
by Timothy Liu
Hotel Berlin
by Cynthia Cruz
I Want the Certainty of Love in Another Language
by Christie Ann Reynolds
If You Must Hide Yourself From Love
by Christopher Salerno
It Was Raining In Delft
by Peter Gizzi
Long Distance II
by Tony Harrison
Love Poem
by Graham Foust
Marriage: A Daybook
by Nicole Cooley
My Heart
by Kim Addonizio
Rime Riche
by Monica Ferrell
San Antonio
by Naomi Shihab Nye
by Maureen N. McLane
The Ear is an Organ Made for Love
by E. Ethelbert Miller
The Ecstasy
by Phillip Lopate
The Embrace
by Mark Doty
The Emperor
by Matthew Rohrer
The Kiss
by Stephen Dunn
The Long Deployment
by Jehanne Dubrow
The Love-Hat Relationship
by Aaron Belz
The Meaning of Zero: A Love Poem
by Amy Uyematsu
To Dorothy
by Marvin Bell
When a Woman Loves a Man
by David Lehman