by E. Kristin Anderson
milk and honey FOR THE FURNACE
(a golden shovel after Kesha)
We begin as air, a voice on the radio—on the outside we’re
all feather and bone, petal and vine, dancing. Freshly made
with dirty paws and crooked teeth, I’ll always show up in
your yard to curate disaster—I can’t disappoint the stars
starving to be supernovas, boiling hope from marrow. We’re
never new, not anymore. My voice is a minor key to throw up
in the middle of the night, to swallow sick. Still. I’m hungry in
my lace, my carnivore dress—tonight we’ll drown in the space
between the tragedy and television, that distance hot now
with fresh longing. Trouble me with treasure—all is fine in
paradise so long as nobody imagines me there singing the
eulogy. Trouble me with surrender. Hear this: The dark
holds out her warm arms for me, sill seething, and we come
through, eyes open, mouth open, still invisible. I let you kiss
my shoulder because I can. And now you’ll live without my
oxygen, this crisis—thank God I let myself forget your face.
Everything—even the air—
was inexorable, the gospel
down deep still blighted.
Come bending into space,
wondering, mouth bare in
the strange. Haunted, I eat
this last radio, that smile
a tumor. I’ve been the host,
a curious thread of hunger
left in an earthquake.
with mean, I’m a battalion
of pawnshop rings and
cellar stairs, the truth
inside the truth, nerves
electric—I’ll always tell you
about ruined clouds, psychic
in the afternoon, and bored.
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 EKristinAnderson.com and on twitter at @ek_anderson.
Art by Art Editor, Michelle Johnsen
Michelle Johnsen (art editor) is a nature and portrait photographer in Lancaster, PA, as well as an amateur herbalist and naturalist. Her work has been featured by It’s Modern Art, Susquehanna Style magazine, Permaculture Activist magazine, EcoWatch.com, EarthFirst! Journal, Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative, and used as album art for Grandma Shake!, Anna & Elizabeth, and Liz Fulmer Music. Michelle’s photos have also been stolen by AP, weather.com, The Daily Mail, and Lancaster Newspapers. You can contact her at mjphoto717 [at] gmail.com.