Baby, Where Am I
(after Garrison Starr)
E. Kristin Anderson
I think often of the night you told me about your stage— a section of floor in my parents’ living room means something to you that it never could for me. I looked so long for the place I knew must exist out there, a place that would not hold me underwater but would wrap me in cotton. I’m here and I’m trying— this afternoon I’m remembering how years before I was fat I already worried about how my body might make men feel small. You need to know: I am letting that go so that I might fly, even in the rain, clouds ringing in my ears as another storm shakes the Gulf. I promise I’m not a hero—I just want to show you the world we can make from dirty carpets and daydreams, blue moon or blood moon. Even as we’ve organized ourselves into zip codes and blue jeans, girls like us keep scribbling past the dark line, past the edge of the page. As I feel my age coming into me I consider the metabolic wonder of the hummingbird. She is small and she is adored, bright wings in constant motion— but among birds she is unsociable. Territorial. She consumes to live. I want to tell you that you’ll never wake up into a floating rage but you will and you can call me. I will explain the stages I’ve touched with my own feet, the stages we find ourselves on every time we see an old friend in line at Target. How they are different and the same. How your anger is as human as your blood. Mine has kept me alive long enough to find my place. And long enough to hold you in my arms. This place might not be yours, but you are welcome to it. And I don’t hold my breath when I pass a graveyard anymore. I breathe deep and spoon sorbet into myself at the end of the world because I know on the other side of this you are waiting with a smile and a salve for my knees and a year of stories to tell. When the sky opens, I’ll catch the rain in comic books, wait in the grass with the grackles. I’ll call you.
If You Bury a Woman Let Her Have Her Tongue
(after The X-Files)
E. Kristin Anderson
About the Author
E. Kristin Anderson is a poet and glitter enthusiast living mostly at a Starbucks somewhere in Austin, Texas. She is the editor of Come as You Are, an anthology of writing on 90s pop culture (Anomalous Press), andher work has appeared in many magazines. She is the author of nine chapbooks of poetry including 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), We’re Doing Witchcraft (Porkbelly Press), and Behind, All You’ve Got (Semiperfect Press). Kristin is a poetry reader at Cotton Xenomorph and an editorial assistant at Porkbelly Press. Find her online at EKristinAnderson.com and on Twitter at @ek_anderson.