Her brittle cage of bones at the end of my leash,
this dog waking us at dawn to pee, panting,
shuffling between us in the bed–she will die soon
then later, you and I. Meanwhile there's fire
coming for my sister's house. Already ash
dusts the hood of her truck. Steadily it comes
even as she plans her simple wedding, even
as she pauses to admire the new sapphire,
her pale hand poised against the yellow sky.
Karen Harryman's work has appeared in Raleigh Review, Atticus Review, Alaska Quarterly, Verse Daily, North American Review and The Cortland Review among others. Her first book, Auto Mechanic's Daughter, was selected by Chris Abani in 2007 for the Black Goat Series Imprint at Akashic Books in Brooklyn. She lives and writes in Los Angeles where she is raising two daughters and reading submissions for Los Angeles Review and the Alice James Award in her spare time. Before moving to Los Angeles, she lived in Kentucky for most of her life.