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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