Times Was a Seed.
(after Letters To Cleo)
Tell me what it means to cut
the familiar at the root, how to wait
until it is mostly dust
and sweep it out the front door.
I drop a bright penny
in a well, shining like only death
can shine—toothy and proud.
I want to take these shiny pennies and
plant them in the ground. Maybe
this is why my heart has mossed over
green and gray and soft. Maybe
the moss is why I’m always on the floor,
pulse elevated, sweating nauseous,
resenting all the dust collecting heavy in
every corner of every room in
this apartment. I know disease intimately
and truth over time can grow malignant.
Will it matter more if I don’t
throw up in this car? Will I make it out
okay if I do? This unlovable
part of me marks me grotesque and I
panic and stay inside for days.
The mess in me is feminine, seeded
when I was small, spreading
and spreading and of course
I can’t hold it back with even a strong tongue
and a tranquilizer. When
you’ve had enough I’m still learning
how to breathe, how
to fall asleep before the stars go out,
how to exist in public again.
I wait, take small steps, find the end
of my street where wildflowers are
taking seed like a hymn, swaying and violet
E. Kristin Anderson is a poet and glitter enthusiast living mostly at a
Starbucks somewhere in Austin, Texas. A Connecticut College alumna with a
B.A. in classical studies, Kristin’s work has appeared in many magazines
including The Texas Review
, The Pinch
, Barrelhouse Online
, and FreezeRay Poetry
. She is the editor of Come as You
, an anthology of writing on 90s pop culture (Anomalous Press) and 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
(Grey Book Press), 17 seventeen XVII
(Grey Book Press), and Behind
All You’ve Got
(Semiperfect Press). Kristin is a poetry reader at Cotton
Xenomorph and an editorial assistant at Sugared Water. Once upon a time
she worked the night shift at The New Yorker
. Find her online at
and on twitter at @ek_anderson.
More by E. Kristin Anderson: