The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®

 

Kristina McDonald

Punchline

 

Get it wrong, I thought, and I'll walk 
in to a bar / this girl / she was laughing
at nothing / full-teeth donkey
laughter / you're ugly, they thought, and turned
away / slip past, I thought, like the way 
a needle / enters the flesh / on accident
surely / an accident, a mis-
calculation / of stitching / this is how
we keep / ourselves / from spilling 
out / this girl, she was swimming
she was bored / those lips, he says, she looks
like a clown / keep talking, I thought
and I'll breathe / through my teeth / stay 
lady-like / stay / silent
more / whiskey / this boy, he says,
this priest / get it wrong, I prayed, and surely
there's a loose nail / I can borrow
a hammer / that duck, I say,
she's beautiful / and you, I say,
you're wrong

 

 

 

KRISTINA McDONALD received her MFA from Eastern Washington University, where she served as the poetry editor for Willow Springs. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Narrative, New Guard Review, Slab, Sugar House Review, and Yemassee, and her chapbook Stories I Tell My Godmother was published by Dancing Girl Press in 2015. 

 

 

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