Times Was a Seed.
E. Kristin Anderson
    (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, TriQuarterly, and FreezeRay Poetry. She is the editor of Come as You Are, 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 Sky (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 EKristinAnderson.com and on twitter at @ek_anderson.

More by E. Kristin Anderson:
Counting Stones