SHINE LIKE A BRICK IN THE DIRT

(a golden shovel after Kesha)

Tasting bitter in the water, just wait a while—I
still can call back to oak and apple, fall and get
the answer I expected: This was my flesh, so

ready to crawl into Tuesday—open, sick, and hungry.
Still, I wait. You know my teeth. You felt them when
you brought me to a garden, held the lavender you

intended to hang from the rafters, paused to say
a curse or a blessing—words to bear blood. You
know how to pull a hard drumbeat from the love

let slip under willow. Pull a whole night from me,
remember rope. And everything was green, a hush
to hold in your firefly dark, a disaster I’ll savor if

I close my eyes to the sting of silver. Tonight you
stop—a sort of sleep behind glass. Blink so I know
that’s all there is. And everything is green—what’s

left of what I coveted. With my teeth I cut the good
skin of the fruit, reveal the core, and spin a secret for
this dance, a fresh-cut violence I can answer for you.


WE BEND BACK YEARS, AWAIT THE FLOOD

(a golden shovel after Kesha)

Name the flowers from the window—I suspect we’re
shifting into truth. We arranged this dance so young;
the willows haven’t called us yet. I shiver in fever and

swing to soil. Pounding death in dark, down here we’re

holding the pulse of pavement, a study. How we broke
the glass at our feet: shadowed in invitation, crass and
captivated. Tonight the wood is burning blue and still I

hunger for the heart and tongue. The trees know I can’t

carry this flesh past the asphalt. All these roads can find
another ankle to turn, another yellow insect to fly into my
teeth. So let’s bury the whisper, fold into dark like a coat.


BACK TO THE BEDROOM, ALIVE ALL NIGHT

(an erasure of Dolores Claiborne, by Stephen King.)

I was still in possession of my panic // trying to reach
underneath // hungry // I thought about that panic // the
eclipse of afraid // the panic probably gone too far // but
fresh // the ghost a fine, bright light // and my legs were
stars // and the sun was my name // the wonder—this voice
// all broken // a throatful of mud // a broken tooth //
birds in the summer // I’ll never touch the angels // honey
tossed behind me // the dark of a woman’s blood // mad
birds stopped their songs // I was a curse // a cunt // my
chest almost completely glass // and I understood // found
another rock // slipped still // that voice a pleasant worrying
// on the bathroom floor // where I vomit any kind of
moon // clouds closer to my feet // my body in the thorns


E. KRISTIN ANDERSON is a poet, Starbucks connoisseur, and glitter enthusiast living in Austin, Texas. She is the editor of Come as You Are, an anthology of writing on 90s pop culture (Anomalous Press), and Hysteria: Writing the female body (Sable Books, forthcoming). Kristin is the author of nine chapbooks of poetry including A Guide for the Practical Abductee (Red Bird Chapbooks), Pray, Pray, Pray: Poems I wrote to Prince in the middle of the night (Porkbelly Press), Fire in the Sky (Grey Book Press), 17 seventeen XVII (Grey Book Press), and Behind, All You’ve Got (Semiperfect Press, forthcoming). Kristin is an assistant poetry editor at The Boiler and an editorial assistant at Sugared Water. Once upon a time she worked nights at The New Yorker. Find her online at www.ekristinanderson.com and on Twitter at @ek_anderson.