(1977 / Austin, Texas)

Before Anything Happened the House Had No Skeleton

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 lake 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

by Karyna McGlynn

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