Meter Readings

In the basement our meters hog-pile as if our very flesh is stacked, stamped in cherry-red spray-paint and stenciled--our chests: this is your number and this is how much energy you use. You're ahead of 203, stop breathing so much, stop bathing so much, you're down here in the pit too--what, you think you're better than us? You have a roomy room. You can afford to smell just a little.

Basic functions of disparate personality reduced:

the energy it takes the woman in 112 to constantly wash her cheap purple panties, stop her neighbor's clothes mid-cycle, heap them sopping on the dryer because she has to wash her panties now, fraying bands and stretch-marked satin. Now, now:

the energy it takes 208 to James Bond his black hair every morning, comb flicking beneath faucet trickle, wrist snap, dollop of gel, chin carves out a small "C," squint:

the energy it takes 205 to cook so much curry and not ever be seen, laundry sacks of curry, color-coded recycling bins of curry--red, yellow, green, orange, wide mouthed Alpo scoopers lodged in dunes of curry:

the energy it takes 301 to play so much Journey, so much Nugent, so much Foreigner, softly

flipping hot wax flapjacks, commence speakers throbbing through the buildings arteries:

hot blooded, check it and see--downstairs meter's slow pulse:

still alive in here, still alive.

About the author:

Karyna McGlynn is a writer and photographer living in Seattle. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Wisconsin Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, Plainsongs, No Exit, The Paumanok Review, The Blue Mouse, and Medicinal Purposes Literary Review. Ms. McGlynn is the editor of her own small press, Screaming Emerson, which publishes chapbooks by northwest writers attempting to bridge the gap between page and stage. Karyna attends the creative writing program at Seattle University and teaches performance poetry in her spare time.