The MFA in Creative Writing Program at Manhattanville College

July 12th, 2016

1 poem

EDGING

I am not allowed to cum unless you say
a photograph repeals
truth. Dust and gravity slip it away.

Closer, fingers or a mouth build layers onto a banana
coat. A fork folds itself onto a loaded fork.

Open, open pulled tight. Together with
contraction is Velcro. Holding an orgasm
is not round, rocking a baby’s head or globe,
but toothy and sharp,
linear. A thread wanting to spool.

In the bathtub alone, the more you edge
the kinkier you’ll be, I slip a finger inside.
Usually too hard to reach the grid, too programmed
the drive, I shy away from entering
my own wand. The deeper I go, the more tube-like. Plastic sheets
scantily thrown over patio furniture in the rain.
Still life—one wormy arm, a crawl-space
under another—moves only to an excavator’s push.

In the back, something spongy, yet solid.
Am I gripping Tupperware, stool? I reach for electricity.
What is the flower pattern? My research assures me it’s a nose.
The cervix senses pressure without nerve endings.
I breathe a sigh of relief, believing
it’s not a tumor. The eye of release blinks.

I am not allowed to cum unless…

Yesterday I didn’t tell you about a thumbnail beetle’s
feasting on your ceiling’s popcorn because I was afraid

you’d say

get it.


Karolina Zapal is an immigrant writer living and working in Boulder, Colorado. She recently graduated with an MFA in Writing & Poetics from Naropa University, where she served as the Anselm Hollo fellow. Her poetry and essays have appeared in Bone Bouquet, Foglifter, Witness, and others. Her manuscript, Polalka, was a finalist for Rose Metal Press in 2017. In her spare time, she plans dream trips abroad and hikes the hips of Colorado.