Bleed and Breathe the Air by E. Kristin Anderson


This Could Take All Night

From the sea floor I wait for everyone. Say goodbye
to the generator, my blue wire, just circles through skin.
I’m not high, not drinking down the spoils to save me,
numb and cold in my murdering dress, I line up alone.

Unwind me in a dream burn—these dreams laced
and lost in you again, the clean night our last sail
and I swear—an aurora will die and tether us
so I learn the ordinary—the blood is wearing well.

I’m frayed around the ends, tied to the next home
and I’m red, red, now—taking pleasure in breaking
down. That day my stitches were someone to know;
still my motored heart is firing on and on and on.

I promise to find glitter, to face angels, to want—
you started it, this breakout, this dizzy revolution.



In the Lost and Found

You started it—this breakout. This dizzy revolution
can’t change back. Truth hollow, I live in the sky tonight
satisfied with the burn, wasting time, my insides numb
into a bullet, this blast a cure for the lights, a riot cry.

I greet the sun when it arrives, the glitter we climb
and here—a hello collides, a tangled demand found
where I quit metamorphosis. I believe in sick. I wind
around wires. Tonight I’m leaving. The stacked dead

are much too proud for my dreams, a wonderful mess.
Aging is complication; I’ve found no pleasure in home.
Yesterday is left underground, these stars spin a noose
calling unanswered, calling unanswered, the divide down.

Here aurora is a bruise, a life, an ordinary embrace—
hello is how I get somewhere in my blood dress.



Trade Your Outside In

Hello is how I get somewhere in my blood dress—
clean and cold, I’m killing beautiful for the sun.
And here I quit the bastards and sink a wire noose,
calling underground for dizzy truth: you’re a friend.

Mirror, mirror, I cry to the rafters, to bright hell
and my skin is free to take all night on revolution.
Swear you’ll never tell: tonight I like my life tangled—
one of these days I’ll be more than a mannequin.

If we fired down this divide, left embracing the dead,
I’d haunt it, demand heart. I’m not nursing patience
and their wearing burn is hollow, stacked and faded.
Next year life runs out; we sleep and dream in stitches.

I could stay sick, the hole we fill with breaking night;
from the sea floor I wait for everyone: Say goodbye.


This is a found poem. Source material: Foo Fighters. There Is Nothing Left To Lose, Roswell/RCA, 1999.


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 90’s 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 and on twitter @ek_anderson.

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