Little sister sleeps with a stuffed pony named Firefly.
All Russians are tall, red-faced and angry from the cold.
On a fence surrounding the last cornfield
in town you paint shit, piss, and cum wad in red
nail polish. Tracy doesn't want to go to the dance with you.
She wants to ride in cars with cheerleaders and
basketball players. Wants to drink wine coolers, squeeze
the soft aluminum caps into silver half-moons, watch them
bounce up from gravel roads. Girls at school get into fights
over boys. You are playing dodge ball when they carry Carla S.
out of the restroom. "The sinks" a shy girl whispers, "were
pink with her blood." There are wrecks, too. Popular girls
die. You get out of school early for Angie T's funeral,
wait in a line stretched through town to see her body,
catch a slow ride to the cemetery, jealous, even
of her tombstone–heart-shaped and pretty.
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.