1996

It was so cold then,
with just the littlest
space
          for me
in the art room
or leaning
against tiles by the lockers.
How hard was
it to breathe? To ally myself
         with real girls,        find a boy
who will dance? 
             To breathe.

All the dark swallowed,
      even on fall afternoons
with  the leaves crinkling
  under cleats,    an itch crawling
           through both arms.
Sweat was everything,   heart beats
sticking to notebooks like spilled candlewax
             to hardwood floors.

Static licking the radio
   heard in secret, headphones
jammed  in ears, everything,
   everything – first
   and last
       and always –
     how else  do you live?


EKADuckFaceE. Kristin Anderson‘s first chapbook A GUIDE FOR THE PRACTICAL ABDUCTEE was recently released by Red Bird Chapbooks and her second, A JAB OF DEEP URGENCY, with Finishing Line Press, came out in October. She has two chapbooks forthcoming: PRAY, PRAY, PRAY: Poems I wrote to Prince in the middle of the night (Porkbelly Press, 2015) and ACOUSTIC BATTERY LIFE (ELJ Publications, 2016). Her nonfiction anthology, DEAR TEEN ME, based on the popular website of the same name, was published in October of 2012 by Zest Books (distributed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). She has worked at The New Yorker magazine, has a B.A. in Classics from Connecticut College and is currently an online editor for the YA & Children’s section of Hunger Mountain and a contributing editor at Found Poetry Review. Her poetry has appeared in many magazines worldwide, including Contemporary Verse 2, Hotel Amerika[PANK], Asimov’s Science Fiction, and Cicada and I have work forthcoming in Room and Juked. She blogs at EKristinAnderson.com.

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