Last Light | Karyna McGlynn


Virginia's pulse wings up
through the patio's citronella flame,
some exotic insect: shiny, maroon,
and up from the steam of the river.

She throws her useless limbs
across our dark laps—we are
primitive rafts, rock formations
in the current—she grasps
our fingers like stubborn roots.

Tired girl,
called in from the mud-forts
by the body's clocks and chemical
reactions. Joints curl, burnt out fuses
of boundless summer, each nipple
a firecracker, overextended.

A dark citrus wool pulls
its sleepy weight across her temples,
though one eye remains open,
vigilant nightlight fueled by the sound
of cicadas, pulsing low in the desire
not to miss a single word.