by Kristy Bowen
In a year, you won't recognize the body. The body that shuffles through drugstores and thrift shops. The body that muffles its cries beneath the coverlet. The body that wanted, then resisted. Who insisted it was a body at all. A thing clodding through the world in chunky shoes. Bed hopping and prodding the edges of the day with its tongue. In a year, the moths eat their way through the body's clothes, every sweater dusted with wings and glitter. Tiny exoskeletons clinging to cardigans unmoved for years. The year the body ceased its wantings but grew fat on sweet creme butter. On vices other than desire. The niceties of lace collars and coquettish lingerie. How the body in the mirror looks like a body, but is darker around the eyes now. Like you took a charcoal sketch of a body, then blurred it at the edges.
Election season, and there are too many hands on this body. Sneaky fingers in my soup. In September , the body moves according to the moon, but where to put the body, just for now, when I'm done with it. When I've hatched the insides out like an egg. Scooped the bits and hollows and swept the floors. The body that wants more bodies, multiplying. And someone inside it. Not a ghost or a girl or a grade school crush. But a man and his body, the other body, that makes more bodies. And how is there room for books inside the body unless we take out the struts, the lacquered rooms and dusty carpet. Room in the heart for the body and the other bodies. The bodies that keep leaving through doors that spring open without warning. How to tend with the body that peels like floral wallpaper. The body that loves this crazy, but at the same time, wants to watch it burn.
A writer and book artist working in both text and image, Kristy Bowen is the author of a number of chapbooks, zines, and artist book projects, as well as full-length collections of poetry-prose-hybrid work, including FEED and SEX & VIOLENCE. She lives in Chicago, where she runs dancing girl press and studio, publishing an annual chapbook series by women authors. Bowen holds an MFA in Poetry. www.kristybowen.net