E. Kristin Anderson

This Is How Our Eyes Are Invisible How Our Eyes Are the Record

- after the X-Files

Tonight is ergot the taste of gentle fear when I hang up the phone

another bright sign blinking behind me like a sprinkling of sugar

on my tongue and I bite my cheek like the snake eats his own tail

like I block another list of callers. I scream and paint the story up

my arms and down my back. You cross the street, Agent

Scully. You cross and I see your desire for filth for a self

unrecognizable how the needle threads denial into skin how

the needle plays the record again scratches how the needle

touches down in red comes back redder. Ergot. It tells you,

Dana, that crossroads bear consequences. We know what a lie is—

how it claws at our hair at the truth out here on our skin

we know enough to write it down on paper before he can steal it

away. And this is the truth on my skin: a black scar I see only

in the mirror, an ergot easily found in sleepless nights, the wrong

medication at eighteen. Doctor Scully, I’d love to know how

that ouroboros ate into you how it disappeared the evidence your

creamy white skin your unmarked spine. Regret is a church

for those of us with memory, for those of us whose stories run in

a straight line, never erased or overwritten as we touch the snake

burrowing deep how we touch the body it burns through

our own selves not because we have to but because we can.

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.

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