Other Poems by:

Kristy Bowen


It's the sun slant of February

that you remember.  First thaw.

The boys in brown trucks.

How they smelled of juniper

and beer.  Something

sweating fever. Hard.


On some road that skirts

the river, ice cracking brittle 

as fingernails, your breath 

labors somewhere tight.

Smudges the windows.

Branches tangle the surface like limbs.

You take the bottle, smile.


Still, haven't you walked into that

frozen river a thousand times?

Felt the cold call you, take you in?

Even doing something as simple 

as pulling a sweater over

your head, or brushing your hair,

don't you still?


Everyday, this pale light filtering.


You are always surprised by want,

soft as the inside of your arm.  

How it bruises, speaks of

twilight, whispered litanies.


In another place, a woman

reaches for a comb, comes back

with a rainstorm.  She is halving

grapefruit in Key West,

missing snow.


Later, you'll dream of sheets

settling across a white bed.

Catch your reflection strange

in a window pane.  The measure

of your breath in the subway.


In a season of winds, we hold what we can.

under the pleiades

September is a trick, a thickening

in the blood.  By now, the summer

girls have placed their hands

between their knees, letters

from other lovers tucked

beneath their skirts.


I've been dreaming of a basement

in a house I've never seen.

The night is disarranged 

and full of bones.  The only

way out is a blue bottle 

on a low ledge.


Tonight, after the clean slaughter

of sex, how we slur into

each other without thought,

you'll name the constellations

in my hair.  Seven casualties 

in my web of stars.

in spain**

These points are fixed

against terrain.

Fragment. Ornament.


Write evolution on a sheet

of paper.  Thin, pale

as a robin's egg.  Say

it's all inevitable:


The laundered dresses fluttering

on lines. The window shedding

its paint. Sugar dissolving


in a glass of water.  Place three fingers

against my collarbone.  Breathe.

Tell me again how you lost


the red notebook twice

in other countries.  The passage

about the girl in the alley.


How she tasted like a rainstorm,

all dampness and electricity.

I forget the oranges 

and the blue tattoo.


Always the tattoo.


**previously appeared in Another Chicago Magazine 

an explanation for wednesday

Perhaps it's the havoc, 

summer gone and the world

tipped like a cup.  Or

how I've been reading Rilke,

fingering your postcard from Paris.

Playing sonatas and dreaming


of girls in bright scarves

and black skirts waving from

buses to hotels with

white, clean sheets

and claw foot tubs.


After all, it's hard to tell

the speed of bodies falling.

Or the sound of indigo.

Unless plagues the staircase.

Unsteadies the ladder.


Meanwhile, I have learned

to breathe underwater.

The slightest intake.

Then the lull.

Copywrite 2006 Kristy Bowen
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