Keep Turning Over by E. Kristin Anderson

After HAIM

Here is my panic attack: I haven’t been out in days
and it’s painfully normal. So when I take my first breath

of the day I’m already trying not to feel. After all these
days inside, I have become proficient in the loneliness of

catching the sunbeam that sneaks past my blinds
and putting it back outside. I know it seems like I’m always

sleeping now, but late at night with my knees aching
I’m wide awake considering how my body will push past

the threshold of survivability. I make little promises to keep
from kissing the sickle and tonight is another night alone

in this apartment, screaming every word of “Landslide”
into the popcorn ceiling. I think I fell like a meteorite

into this timeline and I should have expected you to scatter
but I’m listening for strange angels on the roof. Dawn

approaches like a purple bruise and I’m pushing my face
into the pillow desperate for oblivion. I dream again

and again of old friends and I don’t have the energy
to harbor this anger, can’t ping enough cell towers to

triangulate all the words I’d need to say. But the dreams
are the same and I wake up wrecked. The panic of

continued existing is a swansong I carry in my pocket,
and when I shine it’s because the rain cooled me while

I stood outside watching the iron gate open and close
in a thunderstorm. Some things can’t change. I wait for

your reply with my heart cracked open at two a.m. and
in my loneliness I sip at the air I’ve kept for myself,

collect a week’s worth of mail, wash my face slowly,
press my hands against the wall as if I might find a door.


E. Kristin Anderson is a poet and glitter enthusiast living mostly at a Starbucks somewhere in Austin, Texas. She is the editor of Come as You Are, an anthology of writing on 90s pop culture (Anomalous Press), and her work has appeared in many magazines. She is the author of nine chapbooks of poetry including 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), We’re Doing Witchcraft (Porkbelly Press) and Behind, All You’ve Got (Semiperfect Press). Kristin is a poetry reader at Cotton Xenomorph and an editorial assistant at Porkbelly Press. Find her on Twitter at @ek_anderson.

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